Wednesday, 24 September 2014

One Single Impression: Pets

This is an oldie that I composed for my darling pup, Cuchulainn. He came to me when I existed in Belfast in the 1990s. He never left. 


Your eyes close off 

the chimney, the lights, and me 

as you rest your head vigorously on my thigh; 

your huge, dark paw, on my knee. 

Will your resting inner consciousness, 

the record-guardian of each sound and odor of time, 

review our precursors' gathering - 

the settlement in the middle of individuals and the wild- - 

when you first went to the blaze? 

What were the terms of training? 

Who snarled at whom? 

Did you take the best place by the blaze then, as well, 

alternately did you procure it by degrees? 

of our great carriage? 

We lost all feeling of outside with your coming in. 

You who would be known to each living thing by your 

smell, sound, and sight won't impart the learning 

your fine nose finds in our leaves, shakes, and trees. 

Nor do we comprehend the warped ways you take, 

The undetectable elixirs in which you move your pleased body, 

On the other hand the back-scratching pine trees that keep your toys. 

Attendant of old mysteries, you release us on in our building of flames. 

We give your our own particular cot, as well, 

In spite of the fact that you would take it, in any case. 

Through you we see the world with our kindest vocabulary: 

Puppy, pet, defender, companion. 

I feel it in my thigh.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Faith is belief

Faith is belief with strong confidence; strong belief in something for which there may be no substantial proof; complete trust in or devotion to. Faith is contrary to doubt.

Faith is self-belief or trust in a person, thing, deity, or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion or view. It can also be trust that is not based on proof. The word faith is frequently used as a replacement for hope, trust or belief.

In religion, faith often engages allowing claims about the character of a deity, nature, or the universe. While some have quarreled that faith is opposed to reason, proponents of faith disagree that the proper domain of faith concerns questions which cannot be settled by proof.

Thursday, 28 February 2013


It was midday before we noticed it was morning.
The boy cousins brought us a tray soup and cheese,  
Warm soda, and a soft cloth and candy for her fever.  
They wouldn’t come in, the tray weighing between them.  
They stood like woodwork inside the door frame.

By afternoon the old procession silence at the lip  
Of a dozen night travelers tired and grieving, one  
By one, or pairs floating to the bed and back  
With a touching of hands like humming,
And the one we gathered for slipping farther

For all the good we could do. She lay in her shadow.  
She looked to no one. Her daylilies bobbed wide  
Open out in the wild, blue sun and the same bee  
Kept nosing her window to reach them.
Dusk: even the boys were back watching it try.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Faith (religion)

Depending on the religion, faith is belief in a single god or multiple gods or in the doctrines or teachings of the religion. Informal usage of faith can be quite broad, including trust or belief without proof, and "faith" is often used as a substitute for "hope", "trust" or "belief".

Some[who?] critics of faith have argued that faith is opposed to reason. In contrast, some[who?] advocates of faith argue that the proper domain of faith concerns questions which cannot be settled by evidence. This is exemplified by attitudes about the future, which (by definition) has not yet occurred. Logical reasoning may proceed from any set of assumptions, regardless of their accuracy. In this view, faith is simply the selection of an assumption.

Thursday, 5 June 2008


“They are ancient beings,
And they deserve to live,
I think.”

Teenagers slowed enough
So that we could see them roll their eyes
At our softness and sentimentality

Because we were in their way

Standing over a snapping turtle
Paused at a bend in the road
Running perilously through the
Saugatuck Reservoir.

How could we move him?

We tried with a stick
But no stick would rush this ancient being
As old as the rocks,
Timeless as the mud and mulch caked
On its barnacled back and feet paddling
The air like water.

What to do?
I picked up the snapping turtle
Whose four feet padded the air like water
And who craned his neck round to snap.

There was no sound, no clutch,
No fear.
The turtle must cross the road,
And who has time for fear?

Down on the black sponge of rotted leaves and needles
I placed the turtle
Facing the stream and the mud
That surely the turtle must want and

The sun shone hot on our backs—
Mine and the immigrant woman
Whose flailing arms in the road stopped me
Before I could see the ancient being crossing the tarmac.

It stopped
And turned round to face us
With a wide-open mouth like a baby
Searching in the dark for its mother’s breast
In the near satisfaction
That precedes deep sleep.