Hauntingly misshapen poem

“And she utterly denyed her guilt of Witchcraft; yet justifyed
God for bringing her to that punishment: For she had when a
single woman played the harlot.”

—John Hale, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft

this is
not easter
wings at
least not
yet this
is what is
when you
find they

and all
you can
do now
is break
to ask
how did
this fall
any flight
in her

A conjecture leading to a Psalm

So you doubt the whereabouts of God,
a quark, everywhere yet nowhere at once.
So the hell what? Doubt you the wind,
doubt sandstone erosion and trilobite carapace.
Let faith in dawn weather slow as feldspar.  
The sperm whale’s lungs collapse a thousandfold
in unfathomable depths, yet bear it, unyielding.
You who preach against miracles, go doubt
the arctic tern asleep on the wing.
Doubt that a father will leave untouched
constellations of frost inside his windshield,
the breath of his child frozen overnight.
Doubt that bodies lose a few grams the moment
of death. Doubt that, you who will, doubt that.

Vine maple (III)

(Acer circinatum)
Gray leaves, ghost leaves
    buried under
        the winter snowpack.

Now, in spring, they lay
    their desiccated hands
        atop the ladders

of Oregon grape,
    hoping to climb
        out of the grave.

            —Ross Lake National Recreation Area

What if

On the back of the MBTA bus
An ad for Devil Dogs complete
With photos of “vanilla-flavored
Crème sandwiched between two
Fun-shaped Devil’s Food cakes”
Exclaims “Yes please!” urging us
To “listen to our cravings” which is
To say consume whatever we imagine
Might fill the hungry ghost of fear
That dwells in each of us living
In this land of plenty where more is
Never quite enough: but what if
Craving became longing for something
Of another order, and what if we instead
Said “Yes” to prisoners, lepers, refugees,
And what if we might someday learn
To let this moment be enough,
This naked twig, this autumn sky,
This bird in flight, this drifting leaf.


to the sparrows in the terminal at Mitchell Field, Milwaukee

all your life you have to travel somewhere
crumb to crumb
floor to soffit, bubbler to piano,
the spread of atrium
and your still point an immense sanctum
that holds the pattern of your flight

and if you knew how wide
        was the offering of your sky,
            how far would you fly?

all your life you have to roost somewhere
plastic tree
girder or spar, baggage claim,
the top of a shop, security,
and your sanctuary whatever peace
can keep safe winged desire

and if you knew how unblessed
        was the safety of your nest
            how long would you rest?