Delight In Your Design


Part of the Daily Poem series.

Somewhere in darkness, the light bloomed
and fell back again into a crack in the earth.
Or was it in fact my father’s body? I saw
secrets, chasms, magma of love, old hurts
atrophied into darkness visible. Father,
I see you in hunger and tenderness,
in your impeccable skillfulness,
I see delight in your design. And
in the purple lilac’s bloom,
crepuscular twilight of the visioning cave
there are dreams shaped by heaven’s lathe —
beyond sight and sound
and rhythm unbound
there’s a love so deep it heals us both

The Ice Tendrils Were Climbing

snow on daffodil. flagstaff, AZ 2014

Part of the Daily Poem series.

In the forest, the ice tendrils were climbing
down from the spruce line into the maple
hardwood forest
and the snow sheathed itself well
into the granite
in the dusk and

I felt your energy in the forest all around me
and the tableau of dreams that preceded the day;
I brushed balsam fir & remembered
the organic nature of your kiss —

I could feel your pulse in the frozen lichens and
the rocky outcroppings and ice spears
and snow blossoms that together sang
kyrie eleison

Conjure Visions of Foreign Birds

At my mother's kitchen table, May 2013
at my mother’s kitchen table, may 2013

Part of the Daily Poem series. For Ben Maisel.

Tea drunk from this cup
will conjure visions of foreign birds: for you and
I, when I go traveling
under the name Arctic Tern
pole to pole, by daylight and starlight
through sadness and exhaustion
and joy, and restoration
which comes in the lines of a familiar face
or easy silence of shared history:
Kindness is the only thing that makes sense anymore
(like Naomi’s poem, handwritten on Mom’s fridge)
along with the ease of old songs
and dreams of the Green Mountains
when echoes of friendship from over the years
hit the sun-slashed golden hills and
return unbroken to my ear

May The Dark Be Gentle

Photo credit: via / CC BY
Photo credit: via / CC BY

Part of the Daily Poem series.

Sun, sinking slow, shedding sweet
light on low hills of home —
sudden golden light outpouring,
tears breaking through the veil —
all of us wishing to come home, to
the sudden stars. Across the narrow sea.
Sun at solstice, tender grief.
Heavy light and nights are deep.
And the weight of the world is love, is love.
And only in silence, the word, the word. And only
in dying, life; in the taking and the giving, life.
And in the chiseled dark of winter’s bone,
let us find beauty in the seed. In our lowliness,
the wish to rise. And everywhere let this
small light fall and with it, may the dark be gentle.

Wolf Mother says…

Photo credit: pattoise via / CC BY-NC-ND

Part of the Daily Poem series.

It’s good to howl into the night and sanctify the new year
with the song of wolves. Even if it wakes the neighbors.
It’s good to clench my thighs under the dinner table
at secret memories, and moments of pleasure
and sniff the world just for the sake of it. It’s good
to be alive for another moment when death becomes birth,
and dark finds its way again into day.
I love. I have loved. I will love again.
I have been hurt. I have hurt. I will hurt again.
I have lost. All I have will be lost again.
But for now it’s good to dream, and sing.
Wolf Mother smiles in her implacable way,
licks her lips, looks with feral yellow eyes
and sighs, Daughter
if you thought you could get through this Life
without being noticed, you’ve got another thing coming.



To Run Amazed

birthday bow & arrows. 24 years old. vermont, 2013
birthday bow & arrows. 24 years old. vermont, 2013

Written in the autumn of 2015 as I took the Running with Artemis class at MountainSong Expeditions, a 6-week course of trail running and archery that culminated in a 5K run through the beautiful woods of Worcester, Vermont. Part of the Daily Poem series.

It’s autumn
and the red maple has wept her tears
till in the stand by the mountainside
only the yellow beech still blooms.
I’ll run till this race on earth is over, and
a voice rises up, and then another:
it is the chorus of those long dead
who turned far away to
follow the lure,
the dream of the white hart
that calls me fearlessly through
this forest.
For they gave me breath to run the woods
by the hollow tree, and the hollow
hill, where the sun rays catch
in the glistening web,
where the bow is instrument
of blessing and power
and at their call, I wake again
to run amazed
in the glittering world.



Seven Nights at Home in April, and the Rest on the Road

photo from

In August 2013 my friend Alex Beeken and I started a daily poem exchange where, each day, we’d e-mail each other an original piece. We’ve kept up the collaboration, though the deadlines have relaxed somewhat; nevertheless Alex’s friendship and poems have been a constant in my life over the last 2.5 years. I wrote him many versions of this poem while spending 6+ months of the year on the road. This is the best version of it, I think.  

To read more of the Daily Poem series, click here.


I spent seven nights at home in April
and the rest on the road
in the dry dry canyons of the west-southwest
where the sun shines dark on crow wings
and braided hair

but I don’t know the names of the plants
or people there, who find red flags in how I walk
and there was snow in Flagstaff and the
Phoenix sun burned me, and the Bay dusk
drew a jewel-like path down to the Farallons;
I flew ocean to ocean in just two days and found
there were dolphins on one side
and tears on the other
and the tulips were scarlet in New York, crimson …

I think I don’t have a home anymore, except
for these poems I write you.
In these hours of lassitude and introspection
on a flight someplace, somewhere over the Midwest.

The Earth is a Witch, and I Her Lover

collage (by me) of images from taproot magazine, january 2016

Part of the Daily Poem series. Written after Vermont Witch Camp, 2015.

The earth is a witch and I her lover,
casting off old cauls, have
danced undaunted in the fall fields beneath
the gibbous moon.

You can call me by many names: I have been
Pretty Flame, I have been
First Snake. I have even been nameless
for a time, and crawled rawly naked
through the damp earth
in darkness before light
was born.

How could any touching seeing hearing
tasting being doubt inimitable She
of a Thousand Names and breaths and wings?
The earth is a witch and through our blood
she sings.

The Cup Fills Up, Spills Over…

photo from

Part of the Daily Poem series. (“Beautifully sexual,” Alex said.)

In the threshold of the year, I traveled through strange weathers.
The wetly rippling hills of Pennsylvania
could have been Ireland, or Scotland–they were emerald
in the Rust Belt, vibrant in December rain. As vibrant as
my lover’s words, his heart opening unexpected, how
suddenly and sonorous his whispers of affection came and went, and
I learned to love them, and the silence in between. In Vermont,
I saw lightning flash, and thunder, and then
came morning snow-kissed and languorous as I recalled how their
mouths, like little flames, had lapped me clean. This is my life.
Sometimes I can feel it rising through me like steam off water.
Its heat roils around me in a luscious pelt of winter fur.
As the light refracts in ice, and sings itself into a thousand other songs,
I’m learning there is nothing wrong with me; there was never
anything wrong with me, and it’s not hard for this cup to fill up and spill over
and pour herself into the earth with hot, abundant magic.