Burning Moon

I’ve seen the moon in windows
At life’s saddest hour
Like a transparent sphere
Left behind by the mists of change
I’ve seen moons in mirrors
With faces of ancestors
Buried in the illusion of time
Moons in photographs
Fall from the hands of mothers
Into abysses of blackest despair
I’ve seen the moon on ponds
Flow out without spilling its silver
And the moon in ocean waves
Fold distances into dreams
Returning lovers to their shores
I’ve seen mountaintop moonlight
Outlining each peak
In heaven’s own cold twilight
Moons over the desert
Like the sun of vast night
Begun in a grain of sand
I’ve seen canyons
Into which the moon dropped lures
For the fish of the deepest stars
But I have never seen the moon ablaze
Except in the eyes of men

Crow Feather Totem XIII

Three hawk feathers in three weeks.
The gods are speaking to me again.
They have come down from the clouds
With these notices of flight.
Before the first, I felt bound to the earth.
After the second, I tested my wings.
With the third, I leave my body behind.

Footprints of light

They are footprints of light
Laughing forests of stone
Savannahs of blown-glass animals
Migrations of palm prints
Oceans of raw materials
Deserts of innumerable alphabets
Mountain skies with mountains

They are footprints of light
Trees of first flight
Clouds and water flowers
Vines of healing outgrowth
Silence smiling in space
Rain enacting its own performance

They are footprints of light

Crabapple Trees in the Rain

The crabapple trees love drizzling rain.
Their jewels burst open and the street
Becomes awash in five-petalled fuchsia.
It brings out the painter and lover in me.
The dampness opens all my pores,
Tasting their waves of delicate rose.
Embraced by rain they’re never more content.
Even the oldest trees with branches
Like entwined limbs of exhausted lovers
Would, in their death throes
Flower for a thousand years– if they could.

Venera Fazio (1943-2017)

Today I miss my friend, Venera. If you didn’t know her, you didn’t know the Spring. She was the Spring. If you never met Venera, you never met the best side of yourself, because that’s what she brought out of you. Today I miss my friend, Venera. If you didn’t know her, you couldn’t know charm for its own sake. If you never met Venera, half the light of love is missing from the moon. And having known her, half the light of love is missing from the moon.

Paint by Province

(Essex County)

By mixing the sunset
With green farms
And black walnut,
A white horse grazes in a field.

(Cape Breton)

By mingling lake water
With white birch
And yellow leaves,
The sail of the sun floats into view.


By combining lupins
With red soil and green fields
The island sleeps
In the waves of its dreams.

(Chocolate River, New Brunswick)

By amassing sediment
The sun pans for gold
Like an old prospector
Knee-deep in the river.

(Rural Ontario)

By bonding the smell of snow
With wood smoke,
November sets its essence
In your mind.

(Lake Louise, Alberta)

By joining elevation
To compression and water
Mountains wash their faces
In their own turquoise mirrors.

(Gaspe, Quebec)

By linking the St. Lawrence
To an endless watershed
Of blue iris in bloom
Beauty floods the seaway.

Marsh Boardwalk

Hovering above, between, amidst,
Like a boat attached to its own moving pier,
Space swamps you along the boardwalk.
The wind walks at the pace of the reeds.
Light falls on bulrushes and water lilies
Glowing in waters of inevitable wonder.
Every time you return, nature returns tenfold,
Enlarging you, lengthening your shadow,
Seeding your own expansion back to nature.
The marsh never changes, the marsh changes,
The upkeep of the boardwalk is enormous.
No worrying about time on this footpath.
It has all been preserved by the marsh.
It has all been dispersed by the reeds.

Photo by Brigitte Ala

Marsh Boardwalk

Behind the Scenes

Novus ordo seclorum

Behind the scenes. Behind the perceptible.
Behind perhaps reality.
How sadly the conspiracy unravels.
After the whirlwind and the fall,
How inadequate the truth that’s revealed.
Is the veil of Isis ever lifted?
Don’t statues wear a mask of stone?
Aren’t photographs sealed by time?
Isn’t that movie obscuring the light?
Because the scene lacks depth
The drama must be in the back.
The “Behind the Scenes” Corporation.
The Eye of Providence, anonymous.
The ruse is clearly visible.
The surface is the storefront.
The mask is its own mask.
A façade is a lasting impression.
The disguised wear disguises.
The undisclosed is uninspired.
The covert appears cabalistic.
Behind the scenes. Behind the perceptible.
Behind perhaps reality.
How repugnant the details of revelation,
Our own failings in the creation.

The Shadow Plant

The rain kept me up all night last night,
Probing me with vaccinations
And syringes of endless worry.
Bad enough this pandemic lockdown,
April’s suffered from a virus,
With chills, fever and persistent cough,
Overcast from start to finish.
At least there’s a chance for freedom
In our own small portions of the sun.
I’m holding out for summer
And the healing of its shadow plant.