Category Archives: Poets

Working It Out

I have been alone for days
dusk and dawn breathing in the distance
while the silence envelops
like an approaching front.

But don’t get me wrong, the weather is fine
even as the coyotes call from the ridge line
and veils of moisture drift in to the trees.

These days, it is I who am the sentinel
turning the light toward the movement
in the underbrush, dispersing the dark.

pbsweeney. 9/27/2008


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.


There comes, in the late afternoon
an emptiness of purpose
where there might be lingering
in what’s left of the sunlight
and we may dream and not think
of beginning

The view of the street is enough
the bees hanging in mid-air
seek no nectar.
If I were a dog I would not bark
a policeman, I would only watch the
vague torments of dishonesty,
a writer, I would not type the
next chapter heading
but let everything go
for a few minutes
and in this place that is so large
the un-tethered self tingling
with enormity and axis,
a tiny triangulation of the infinite
means then that breathing and being are enough

Oh yes, we say, in the quiet exhalation,
in relief and obscurity and sadness and joy –
opened, closed and opened again –
more than enough.



While Planting

When I am with thee
I am both weak and light
yet I know thee –
my body an interpreter,
able to feel your breath
in the breeze on its cheek
the warmth of your golden afternoon
on its skin,
while your fragrance carried to the air
from a thousand petals
reaches for me.
Beloved, I am thankful that you stop at nothing
that I may know only your embrace.

PBSweeney . April 10, 2008 . Clearwater

Snow and Ash

Late afternoon in winter
snow laying in the eddies
in which it fell
No one is going anywhere,
because the light’s failing
turns us back –
back on ourselves
these empty rooms, this cold hearth
where we might kneel
and blow gently into the ash
that may rise and fall and sail up
into the dark of the chimney
while below, under the charred log
and the iron grate,
the sole remaining ember lays buried
waiting for breath.

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