Saturday, March 24, 2018

read today / read tonight


read today about
the boto
pink river dolphin
holdover from the miocene
toothed whale cousin
approaches your canoe
in moonlight 
says “hello” with
a sly rising head
breaking through
the river mirror
and then descends
back into the blackness

read tonight about
the mati ke language
of the northwestern australian coast
only one man left
to really speak it now –
he hears it in his dreams
and has elided conversations
in mati ke with his
grandchildren, waves rolling in
beneath a vast sky bearing
a white sun

there are 10 classes of nouns
into which the items
of the world can be grouped:
Weapons & lightning together
places & time together

and now i must go to bed.
in my dreams, will the boto
leave the amazon at belém
and swim southwest to
australia to find the
last speaker of mati ke
and greet him with
a playful leap?
will i dream in mati ke
and find place & time
overlapping swirling together
to lift me away from
these rooms in baltimore
and heal my weary mind?

***

The two books I reference are Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages by Mark Ablely & Journey of the Pink Dolphins by Sy Montgomery.

Monday, March 19, 2018

what i know about baltimore


what i know about
baltimore
is that it’s hard to know
baltimore
it’s like mercury spilled -
wheelies that last
for blocks
uphill
in twilight,
trap music synthetic
hi hat hits
out car windows,
a hawk hauls
away a large snake
in its talons
in a city park,
open the door to see
a butterfly hover
in the breeze
after just thinking
of a butterfly,
how can i know
anything
about a city
that shifts like a
shadow bending
at mid day and
then disappearing?


Friday, March 9, 2018

The Photo Grapher


The Photo Grapher
for Helen Levitt

The lens
Draws back
The eye
Awaits
The move
The step
The form

She rolls
The hoop
In light
Apart
A plane
Glides high
The game
Winds down

The lens
Draws in
The crouch
The gaze
The time
The click
The wind




Monday, March 5, 2018

A Scene


Like a Conrad hero
He pulls himself
Up onto the raft
And lets the water
Sluice down off
Of his body
And he’s not sure
If he is he
Or someone else,
As the sun descends
Like a dipping oar
Far off
In the western sky

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

When a Robin


When a robin
Stands up on
The brim
Of a circular
Stone birdbath
Beneath the first
Blue sky of spring,
The air shot through
With March moisture,
And she sees you
Seeing her
And remains proud
Poised & posed,
It is because she knows
That she is blazing
The image
Of a poem
In the 10 AM light
An image
That is then challenged
By the long tailed
Sparrow
Perched
On a post
At the entrance
To this café