Atop the hill
the trees are filigree
against the fading light.
The tents are fireflies
twinkling as night
reclaims the earth.
I am caught up
in the chill
watching my breath
kiss the stars.
First Appeared in Blueline, Vol. 22, 2001. Reprinted in Legal Studies
Forum, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2005
They sat on the bench in the park
looking out on the small lake,
two ducks swimming slowly in circles.
“Dawn is the most beautiful moment
of the day, the sun chasing the moon
and setting the sky ablaze,
orange, crimson, flame, there
is simply nothing,” he said,
“in the world quite like it.”
“It is that, but it pales compared
to the beauty of dusk
and the setting sun retreating,
the clouds painted by the master
in orchid, fuchsia, and a depth
of pink only the sun and clouds know,”
she replied, “and each day is different.
An old monk walking by bowed,
nodded and softly said, “but look
to the sky on a cloudless night,
see the moon reflect all the sun
has to offer, all the colors
in the spectrum are there if you
only close your eyes and see them.”
As the moon begins
it’s slow departure
we step carefully out
into the receiving night.
The neighbor’s black cat
looks up at the sky
warily, steps around
the ladder leaning
against the house, and sits
and contemplates the number
thirteen, though it holds
no special place
in the feline world, it
just seems the thing to do.
In our small world
night and day are separated
by dreams that escape
just beyond our consciousness.
We search for deeper meaning
even as we are certain
they will leave us as they have
long before we could remember.
That is the trouble with margins,
they ebb and flow without warning,
their arrivals and departures
unannounced, so listen carefully
and embrace the silence.
In the deepest, darkest portion of night
we are taught that dreams reside, that they
are not real, figments, fragments of imagination,
woven into an evanescent tapestry
that disappears upon waking, leaving only
a faint shadow to indicate its once presence.
Many like to believe this, for it
relieves them of ownership of dark thoughts
that night can unleash, like dogs of war.
To the dreamer, the dream is no less real
than the experience when awake, more real
on some occasions, so ask yourself
what if the dream is reality and
your waking existence is the fiction
and what is the difference which is correct
or if neither is, and dreams are
all the substance of our universe.
Slipping away into the night
the absence isn’t noticeable
and by the time you discover
the disappearance, it is too late,
and there is nothing at all
that can be done, so
you move onto the next thing
and the thing after that,
and memory will fade slowly,
until none is left.
If it was ever here
no one recalls
or why, if it was, it chose to leave.
Tomorrow will arrive
as each day before it:
it will snow
or not snow, rain
or not rain or be sunny
or perhaps some combination.
At this time tomorrow
darkness will settle in
and the clouds, if there are any
will shroud the moon
if there is any, and, if not
the street light outside
our window will
be lonely yet again.