2014 January

LAST NIGHT. THIS MORNING.

Posted by | In the woods, Poetry | 5 Comments

At dawn
Coyotes whimpered and yelped themselves into a fevered, barking knot in the dark not 100 yards away as I stood with our dog in the back yard. She was sniffing around to pee, but came to full attention, hackles and ears raised, her body locked-up as tight as a good hound on a bird. Full moon, cloudless sky, stars beyond the reaching, knotted silhouettes of trees. I realized I was holding my breath and exhaled into the tenuous pause between me and the dog and the coyotes — my breath a gauzy, sluggishly tumbling body, like grenadine poured into clear liquor, finding its random way, carrying the white of the moon. We listened for a few minutes till the knot untangled itself, leaving the thickening echo of silence. The dog looked up at me bright-eyed as if to say, did you hear that?!, snuff-sneezed once to clear her nose, finished her business and started for the back door.

This morning an intricate and careless strata of clouds carried the orange, orange-yellow-red of sunrise. Its light reaching into the woods behind the house, beyond the yard, illuminating the trees standing as they do in their huddled, winter-gray way this time of year. Coffee in hand, the dog and I were back in the yard, both looking in the direction of last nights’ noisy chorus. I knew that the coyotes had denned and that all we’d see is birds and the squirrels that were already busy ransacking the undergrowth. I told her to finish her business as I started for the back door, but she kept her eyes on the woods. And while she worked her nose in the slight breeze, not knowing what she was looking for but that it’d likely be easier to identify in the daylight, I glanced back up into the sky beyond the trees to where the moon was last night, just as hopeful that it would be right where I left it.

TRACKS IN JANUARY SNOW

Posted by | Fatherhood and venison jerkey, In the woods, On the water, Poetry | 9 Comments

photostanding in this new year’s yard tonight
snow to here no jacket or hat or gloves
kids inside with their childhood laughter
it’s zero degrees & I’m happy
that the cold makes my chest ache
freezes my beard with every exhale
while the moon in its circuital intent
evolves & grows as it slinks westward
on the horizon a low-slung crescent flame
just above the treeline amidst starry applause
telling me heads up there’s plenty more
to come in this life son 
I am alive
in this moment in every moment
I remind myself that like a second chance
any resolution I make will only be
good when I do something with it

I turn to head back inside
pressing new steps into the snow
different than the ones that brought me here