I set up my desk in the woods and write


At night the moon blooms like the shape

of a mind.


There are fragments of words

beneath tumbled apples

fermenting by the stream's edge.


I count wasps landing on the rotting fruit,

separating the remains into different

stages of decomposition.


And once, in late evening, I watch a coyote

feasting on a dead doe at the wood's edge.

The coyote has the face of an old man.


Or sometimes it is morning and I write

about the discarded skin of a hognose snake

by the fallen hickory.


Bacteria and fungi are claiming

the dead wood. Witches' butter, split-gilled

mushrooms, tricholomas.


Or I write about my youngest child

and what comes to mind is dandelion, feather, dragonfly.

Or about my wife: leaf wind, stream, alluvial.


Or sometimes it is winter and the ghosts

are riding the snow coming down.


There is something here they forgot,

something that spoke to them once.


The flakes become whatever they long

to become, the ground accepting

whatever it can manage, clinging.


And I listen to the ghosts in the woods

then try to write down what they say.

Snow in winter like a doe's underbelly.

The skittish coyote with its blood mask.



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