I sailed out
and not a sign of songbirds
I listened to the ocean
and its mournful sway

I have made an ark of my days
no graceful vessel
but a makeshift shelter
in which to stay 

I have made a wreck of my days
and would be done with it
but an ark is a cathedral
by another name

listen to the songbirds
in the cold grey water
songbirds perch
on the endless wave

songbirds sing
in clear blue water
gentle waters
sing for day


a back road
a side road

a square in a circle of trees
a litany among the leaves

secular prayers sung at eve
in quiet moments

mariners chasing lost dreams
on hidden oceans

vespers from some little cosmos

Ithaca 4

Birds play ocarinas on the roof
as I lay here and bargain with the truth,
on my island in the dazzling blue,
crickets doing whatever it is they do.

Ulysses once stood upon this shore
and tried to rouse his mariners once more,
there were no sailors left to raise a sail,
warriors grown thin and worn and pale.

Truth must have its way from time to time
and bludgeon you discreetly from behind,
I’ll deal the way I’ve always dealt with truth
while birds play ocarinas on the roof.


a stack of logs
lying by the hearth

silver birch

everything returns
into the earth

silver birch

and the blackbird’s song
that lingers on
from the woodpile

and knows no hurt
like human hurts
by the woodpile