Pencil Noir #9


The city’s crows peck and skewer carrion

selectively choosing between the perennial litter

left sodden and desultory in the winter rains.

I watch their darker shapes swoop about

on mite plagued wings

Curious and feisty feet hopping

through bony limbed trees.


I’d like to think we share

a similar response to the litter,

to this common visual insult,

despite our differences

of foot or beak or choice of cuisine.

They caw at me as I toe debris to the street,

summer’s occasional litter bagging I tell myself

improbable now in the drenched and cold.


Above me their black wings

posture and flex in raucous recognition.

I know they’re looking at me.

They’re intelligent birds

They own this side of the street

They recognize faces…

Startled I wonder what they see in mine?

Is there a password for this?


pencil sketch: j.h.white




Again I woke earlier than you this morning.

Opening the blinds in the next room

I stood there watching the sun move closer

a lover traveling through glass spun from sand


The floor was still cold under my bare feet from the night I wanted to

lift myself into the air and dive back down

splashing into the ocean of our bed

making waves of spice and salt and substance

But for some reason I hesitated…

If I laid down next to you

I was struck with the thought that I’d witness your dreams fading

as you turned and opened your eyes.

I didn’t want to chance what I’d see.

And I knew

I’m growing too used to your rambling distances as you angle into a place

further and further away

But who am I to say you’re lost except to me

even intimacy closes certain doors


Too often  though you prefer to face the wall

While I ? well

Standing here watching you sleep like this

I know now I’m turning towards the sun



In a clearing

Ice dreaming


In a clearing

the ice covered pond

reflects the cool sun’s glare


sleeping   dreaming   waking

The green light at the bottom of the pond is kept on


The writings in books

are like skates on the pond

Cutting figures in the ice

while staying

on the surface of dreams


 Mermaids come as night falls

 cutting holes

from the bottom of the ice

 singing their siren songs

 to awaken the sleeping minutes

of hearts and minds

keeping time


While hurrying clouds congregate

rebellious against the moon

and I sit here alone

in dark wonder

watching the glow

from the warming fire


The bright moon

My breath in the air

All I hear is stillness


A living journal,  my poems are weaving and circling around themselves…puzzles unwinding in a clearing…a dialogue now in waves more than starts and fits, editing me….



photo credit: <a href=””>gomattolson</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;





We’ve never been a good fit

as I’ve skimmed across your surface

scratching at dust

looking for entry

The humus of my life is enough

to sustain each season.

Never enough it seems 

to grow roots.


They counseled me,

” Don’t forget to breathe

   when the trees

   lose their leaves”


I watched those last brazen greens

that were stunned to new growth

by the sun warmth and rain of falling days,

their wildness ignoring immoral reason.

I harvested their leaves for winter teas.

Good medicine for this winter of my life.


The pulse now lies below



tucked in for reflection

networks of roots resting,

arms around each other.


When I too was brazen

I would empty myself with nights of hard drinking,

or when resolve quickened for release,

with bouts of high fever

Unaware of the pulse below

and startled by the clacking of human engagement

that other seasons hid from view with warm promises.


Now I have covered that distance between my mind

my heart

and have become a nomad in this civilized wasteland

as I follow the shifts in my perceptions.


My skin is a porous coat

I wear

in all weather



in all seasons.


When I went to re-post this poem I discovered that it had originally been published exactly a year ago on the same date. It’s good to listen again, poetry being such an amazing dialogue with self, with Other …


Rapt in winter


Our bodies rapt

in humus

  scenting of decay

sounding under frost.

  Sun of winter

breathing low

into branches of sky.

Leaves transparent and tart

cover my breasts

my sighs







This perfect decent

down down


the lilt of meaning

rising and falling

we may never

be found



rapt in winter



photo credit: <a href=””>Janesdead</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;