A number of the poems from Dancing with the Moon have been published in various literary journals. A handful appear below.
He’s tall, dark,
He’s tall, dark well,
he might be handsome if
his hair were more—
or his mouth weren’t so—
He’s settling in
He’s settling in one chair
He’s settling in one chair over . . .
The guy behind the bar
lights my Fantasy Lucky.
I take a deep breath.
Smoke curls up through our reflections.
The jazz moves my elbows and
I nudge into his must
be made of light and honey,
so sweet his eyes . . .
and, yes, I think I
could just float and sink and—
be gentle as sighs and so strong,
be sure as time and so good,
be suave and slow and—
Be kind (be mine)
and don’t go
With the practiced easy motion
of hands on knobs of doors one knows,
she hips them open and heels them closed.
The key is on the bed.
With the sharp resolution of hands seizing bags
she moves down the hall and out.
In the street,
the ceaseless, jerking flow of traffic
breaks the quick insistence of her feet,
makes her lay down the bold new decisions
In the new building,
bright patterns flicker on the tiled kitchen floor
as gusty breezes gambol with the curtains.
Strange odors linger from some other’s cooking.
The place is small but holds real promise.
The days grow longer
with the new measure of the night.
She finds a print for the hallway wall,
relearns the evenings for garbage,
the taste of meals for one.
The cookbook stays open
on the table in the sun
and her own smells grow stronger
with the light.
You and I will be very good.
We will let her get round the corner,
wait two beats, maybe three—long enough
to know for sure she’s not returning.
You will lunge, then, I know.
And I will throw my arms around your neck
and grapple your howling desperation
until I’ve reattached the chain.
I won’t let you go; no,
I will murmur something soothing,
some wordless, tuneless, hopeless—.
I will cling to your quivering
until I feel it’s safe to merely rest there,
face buried to the tears
in your familiar must. The long,
long night we will sleeplessly entrust
the darkness with our pain
and wait to see: does the wrong
depart with the sunrise,
or cruelly taunt us
from the limit of your run?
But, O my heart, I promise:
I will not desert you.
I will not leave you all alone.
In cooldim of greygreen a beenman
is grinseen, a newway to followfoot.
The woodsing a feeltune. The moonroots
of shoots an liveseed are wingloose
and bringhymn to yourside in loomlight
in mineseye. Tremblesure, our wesong
is heartlong, rises in treebreezes and leaves,
is strong and sowise, so . . .
to the soft open face
of the lake
in the dark
in the chill
in the deep
the white nimbus
clings to lambency
longs against gravity
for the caress to last
until the moon spills
her revelation light
haunts my lips
the moist imprint
the sensate moment
our mouths barely parted
hovering there – near – in
vivid though hours
have passed – lost
in the mnemesis
of unvoiced promises
o the kiss
a liquid fire
all elation night
I sing a song for your clear gray eyes and wise ways,
for your touch and little gifts that lift the spirit,
for ears that really listen, kissing even my absurdities;
for words of ease to a father bothered by the cares
that wear so at your own motherhood; and other good traits
that time cultivates in such fine soil: toil with mirth,
its real worth valued, blending quips and labor,
and yet a saber ready for the fray against the bray of asses.
Passes quick the time when valentines are due,
and you do not fit in this little bit of poem—oh,
I’m not going to finish this thinnish ode
to all your graces. Some praises, though late,
perforce must wait till lips and eyes can meet,
then greet you strong with the truth immediate:
who loves you not is proved an idiot.
Two gates open but once;
the third swings into the center.
Birth, death pass us singular,
but marriage sluices true abundance.
As two step through,
an arkful of creatures follow:
in-laws, character flaws,
secret strengths and dreams,
wisdom, patience, a whole team
of traits anticipating seasoning.
Crowding all around
are friends and relations.
Children throw flowers.
The trees clap their hands.
Stars join the celebrations.
Smiles and tears,
prayers and cheers,
rise to heaven; even
a folk poet finds a pen.
The world knows its meaning
at a wedding such as ours:
thriving, striving, diving for
the deepest precious pearl;
investing, divesting, resting in
the love-god’s fingers’ furl.