Category Archives: Literature/Poetry

Taking Place

In the treetops, a wild morning

is taking place

Wind tatters the aging summer leaves

branches sway

sun glistens on the cold

shoulders of the oaks.

Night is dispelled, thoroughly.

We in the clearing below

in the deep well of the still green

where the stones are cold to the touch,

we are already cloaked in another season,

waiting for the canopy to fall

for the dew to turn to frost,

our breath to cloud.


In Beauty

-for my Son on his birthday, in hopes that he may soon leap…

The supreme pleasure in beauty
the Creator’s perfections
in beauty cast over the landscape
of earth and heaven

Rapture in the delectable
rapture in the seared eye
stricken and slain by beauty

Pale leaves unfolding tinged
with silver, gold, pale copper
The delicate softening of
bark and branch and formidable oak

There is sighing to be done
and leaning into the breeze
Love may rise quickly on days like this
running fast and hard from winter
headlong over the precipice and into the green.



Note from Self

I found myself today standing quite still, after working in light rain expanding the small flower bed near the sun room window. The rain was quiet for a moment, but the trees and low growth were not. There was much little flutterings and chirbles and pips. I realized I was standing in the midst of a roving band of chickadees, on the hunt for insects and bits of tasty things. My stillness, I guess, was automatic. And they did not seem to mind me because of it. I would not say, as some might, or as I perhaps might have suggested even a year ago, that they came to me, or were drawn to me by my peaceful energy. The I of me, had little to do with it. I was merely in their path, and as I did not present myself as one of the more excitable humans, they continued on their path, coming quite close to me, even peering at me and pausing for a time. “Hi,” I said to one in particular who was two feet above me on a slender branch. It was an ineffectual hi, it just came out, because we were eye to eye and well, I didn’t want to be rude. Such a tiny bead of an eye. He moved on without rushing, as did his roving mates. But for a time, I was in the thick of them without any fuss. As they moved off, I scanned the trees and the undergrowth, feeling a little lonely. They were nice to be with, those chickadees, even if like most creatures, they were just on their way somewhere.

Closing In

Whorls of lichen on a branch
is my universe

the white breast of a junco resting there
is the range of my vision
an ice crystal, a solitary seed
a brown leaf caught

one red berry
one golden crowned kinglet
her small heart beating
past the stone and the swale.



We have winds from the ocean
a hurricane that has ripped up the coast
I wish I could smell it.
I am traveling there,
out of these unyielding granite bone-yards
where at any moment I expect to find a cache
of profound extinction.

I am watching the wind lift the boughs
in that way – that way
that is arousing
weather is arousing.

Soon I’ll be where the wind takes hold of you
where your breath and pulse
are subject to an untender mercy
I can hear it calling through my weeping.


Pbsweeney . Clearwater . 11.03.2007

Along the Ridge

Silence like this
fills the ears – it overflows
toward the ridge of the Trapezius
Another hour, and it slips
past Eustachian hollows
pools in a yawning stomach
a cooler drink than water’s slake.

When full enough of silence
buoyed and light
these Achilles look to touch the road
where dust and clay, the crumbled core
are eddied in the empty wake.

pbsweeney July 2007 Clearwater

On the Eve of the Equinox

First it was the deer who barked and chuffed
then the rattle of the flickers in the trees
and the dusk and the laughing coyote
talking to the owl
Meanwhile, the oaks pelted the house with acorns
and swaying, dropped a yard full of dead wood.

We found one pear today
on the ground and still hard
but with a fragrance that made us a promise
and as we passed it back and forth
and traded bright eyed looks
and inhaled such richness, such a beauty –
well, all our restless days of disquiet turned
left and slipped away.