I’m honored that my new book TO INHABIT THE FELT WORLD has been nominated as a finalist for the da Vinci Eye prize for cover art. The cover image is from my WaterLight series.
For Love of Red
Red silk wet on pine needles.
Maple and sumac glimmer red against the road
neither red as the red wool blanket
in my blue room.
Coyote families sing to each other in the dusk
sun flares redden mountains
sky blue as lapis lazuli
until moonless black night uncovers stars.
blue scraps of sky
crack out clouds
dull winter ground
snow we’ve longed for
clouds bank black against less black mountains
flying snow crosses dusky sun
fractured into winter rainbow
Morning fog lifts its wet weight
red twig shines
Clouds in a prism of urgency
rush to the sea
An insect passes
lost in last summer’s litter.
night draws each body
over moonless horizon
orbit toward dawn
shapeless quiet slides over the roof
in deepening dusk
rain channels bark
fog drips on a forest mouse
somewhere near a song
scumbled over the landscape
undulates under blue clouds
half the spectrum broken
over the roiled surface
defined by ivory-black ribbons
of frozen rivers
no bird dares the winter sky
this titanium cylinder
radiant in the stratosphere
flies high in the face of sense.
overrun with elephant ears, birds-of-paradise,
pampas grass, plumed with decay.
Tentacles avid, relentlessly accelerate.
Sumptuous excess silences slow wind.
In canopy leaves reach for sky.
Alone here, unlonely,
Between seasons, angled apart, the stone rests on gray schist legs.
Each dry winter, cemented
in their shrunken rigid waterless bed
desiccated stems flake to dust
Leaves of streamside trees
wait for July rain to decompose.
Each rainy summer night it sinks another iota toward its ancestral home
amidst the bedrock
of the river’s underground channel
aslant in the slippery loam
The path a dirt track, no longer wide enough for two people to pass,
once planted, now wild
below steep rock steps a derelict fountain,
verdigris-bronze head on the wall
calcified mouth unable to spout the rainy runoff.
There the bench waited for decades.
Broken sun glints through heavy foliage.
I dream the afternoon.
Words fall through cascade of air.
Lines found in any order,
foundered in the torrent
this reader of stone in the rain.
a a a
Along a wide path,
white with florescent light,
white with cold empty shining air
immaculate, pristine, precise,
five people, a crowd covered in blue,
walk steady and resolute .
on the rolling platform
I dream back this sheltered garden.
The tiny black mystery, size of a fingernail, sends its life out
in threads, ready to take mine in suicidal excess.
They, steadfast under blue lights, mean to murder
this malignant monster.
Silence and noise, garden leaves,
insects and wind, muffled footsteps
A stone in the river ,washed smooth
by twenty years absence,
lies wet in the sunshine.
Gentle in its muddy bed,
heavy in my hand now, its body
contains the igneous history of the world.
A wader in this stream,
I step in the icy flow and fall
against its solid actuality.
November drizzle dismisses easy days
sky fog belts rocky towers
last tenacious yellow cleaves to sycamore
Wet cobbles cross the village
past sienna-plastered walls
to the arched churchly porch
High-window light falls on young faces
wide eyes, open mouths release ordinary voices
celestial in the stone space
Long aisles interrupted with chapels
virgin heroines long departed
kings, conquerors, redeemers
One new brilliant glass-doored space, punctuated with
crossed hands, crossed feet,
to enter, hands push against the wooden bar
caress the carved history of Catalunya
Gentle-voiced crowd edges around the perimeter
up sloped steps scooped out by each pilgrim’s foot
the black Madonna, centuries of candled
smoke and love shine on her face
Long promenade, black iron choirs
of fat, thin, tall, short,
red, green, white pillars
flame with hope
outside people are passing by
one more door
Red walls, shining wood floor, bright lights,
a room full of things
Two long white glowing wedding dresses
sequins, embroidery, gathered stitching
cover silk petticoats and sheer linings
black sleeves touch white silk
a very short suit of black wool
young brother to accompany the bride?
brass hooks hold
infant’s yellow bib
summery straw hat
with silk flowers around the crown
tiny girl’s starched pink dress
white rickrack pristine
no dribbles from a meal of applesauce.
past the corner more hooks
a shelf with
chest with dark red velvet lining
Round another corner
A sign says
all the objects
are left behind
and may yet be reclaimed
This gallery contains 7 photos.
The WaterLight project is an exploration of the transparent intersection of water and light, the momentary occasion when life on earth is possible.