Daily Archives: January 12, 2017


He had just proclaimed
that a part of his life 
was over when

(as if in gleeful mockery
of his gloom and 
faithlessness to

his own promises
and principles)
a final burst of 

passed through him
from the center of his gut

to his hands and
out came a path to
reopening that door and

with it a completion
he had never 
expected to feel


I do recall swallows
outside the cave mouth,
and I won’t dishonor them
by turning them into

To say that I have fears
that swoop in and out
of my own depths, taking
odd turns, diving in and
out — that’s true enough.

To surrender all other sense of how
those birds made me feel
to such a one-sided interpretation
is too human. I want something
beyond that from this memory.

Even the thought of them
taking one last plunge all at once
all together into the dark 
before the first thin stream
of bats emerged is not itself dark.

To say these fears that flit within me
seem to presage something
more formidable rising into view
is not incorrect, but is incomplete.
I should say instead that I cannot imagine

that my life would be as full today
if I’d never seen swallows and bats
at Carlsbad Cavern. No need for more
than that.  Mule deer were feeding
on the slopes around the cave entrance

the whole time
this was going on

and I’ve never tried
to make them part

of this mythology.  

There they were,
just being present.
Just doing what they did

in the presence of what others
were just doing. 

One could of course say
that this is just
what I’m doing. But
I’m tired of doing this
and there’s no obvious place

to rise from or plunge
or simply feed now
and Carlsbad’s too far
and it’s winter there anyway.
So I must keep doing this

until something happens.
it seems. Swallows, bats,
deer, wind, stones, fire, 
storms, calm, snow, sleep,
until something happens.

Your Magic

In the middle of the night you awake

and in your mouth is the word 
that will save everything currently in peril,

and you cannot pronounce it,

and soon enough you forget it, but not the knowledge
that you once knew it.

It poisons your magic for a long time.