Alan: When something’s taken from us, how do we react? Maybe if we see the smaller thefts as a training...
I came back to find the generator
or rather to see
the blue tarp
blown against bushes
and the yellow cord
with its heavy plug
from the outside wall
Easy to guess what happened.
Two men, young, strong, quick
could muscle it without trace
(except for the blotch
of spilled diesel, candy
wrapper tossed carelessly aside)
across frozen ground, dead grass, gravel
and lift it or slide it up planks
into their pickup
and be gone
They’ll sell it for scrap or pawn it
for drugs or maybe to pay off Christmas
or even (I can hope) keep it
if they get it running
after years of no use.
We live in a world of stolen. Long ago
when this was just a summer place
uninsulated frame camp
cobbled from reject lumber
you arrived in the dark
after the slow hard trip from Boston
to light the gas lamp
jerked the match away
from the cut line in time
Hap McDaniel hired a crew once
to clear alders at the edge of the next-door field
went home for lunch
returned to find them driving away with his tools –
guys he was paying. Hap’s long gone
but forty years on we remember
We remember too the story
of the man who found his front door missing
was sure he knew who took it
went to get it back, was asked in, was talking
looked up, noticed a door-shaped bulge
in the just-papered-over ceiling
When a thief took every bit
of Ryokan’s so-very-little
he grieved he could not offer him the moon
shining through the hut’s open window.
For myself, I only wish
along with the generator
I could give to these
whose need can never be satisfied
a share of the happiness I feel now
seeing it gone
Nancy: When the icy sea is yet warmer than the frigid air and the air icier than the frozen ground and your own breath is the loudest sound, this is a lonely planet and a cold star.
Posting The DANGER Signs At Raven’s Gulch
Wind cuts across the cobble beach
but the trail goes up, into trees.
Not much talking,
climbing; wondering what animal,
or was it the earth itself,
breathed out these white feathers beside the trail?
Height of land. Now the trail
“STOP,” the signs say, “DANGER.”
This is what we came to do.
And in the cleft,
only the sea, smoking,
smoking. No ravens.
Except for the hammer, driving nails,
receiving sea smoke,
Note: The poem refers to degrees Fahrenheit. 0º Fahrenheit is roughly -18º Celsius.