Stern Love

When young in the slow, moist woods,
Creeping oak darkened hills of morning
I paused to wonder – to turn my head;
Thickets caught fire, scorching my cheeks
Strands of barbed wire caught my sleeve
Too weak to quench flames or break steel
I stood

in the white lace of the waterfall.

Shivering now in dusk’s gloom I stirred
To turn homeward
With arm clutching wind
Still feverish with dreams
Bruised and scattered
I returned to the house of your stern love
and was healed.

In such a child time is challenged
In such a world nothing ends
The strange man who now strides earth
Steps only on the red clay of the hills
While a sullen planet smokes
It’s gear teeth glisten venom
The river of my heart undiminished
And as before
My head aflame, bruised and scattered
Shivering in gloom
I turn a familiar corner where
The house of your stern love stands
Open.

circa 1972

Bush

Thre deer quiet in the bush
then crash they bound crash crash
on iron animal legs and crack over rocks
and three deer gone and
nothing more moves in the bush

till the wind eases in and out
and nothing more move in the bush

an insect buzz and flash
then nothing more moves in the bush

and finally the day ends always
always it ends and always begins
ends and when ends it
becomes dark in the bush and night begins
but dark night ends always and it
slowly becomes bright and it
slowly becomes day
and something quick moves in the bush
then nothing more moves in the bush.

1975

I don’t know what has possessed me to post these poems. I have no way to judge their quality. I had a youthful desire to be a poet and wrote a many of them and shared some in readings, and in now long forgotten anthologies. At some point I packed up that dream and trundled down other paths. I do realize these poems are highly romantic and derivative (Hopkins, Thomas, and others).

Over the years I have written in many modes, fiction, non-fiction, reviews, plays. But there is something has drawn me back to look through some of these early efforts. There is some energy there. Some focus and facility and effort. And I want to find that again. Because I am determined to write more. Some little bit. Every day.