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by Robert Ronnow




Silence of Winter


Silence of winter

distant from all but my sexual contacts

her bedroom nights

and day friends

memory of my independence vanishing dream

holding on to it, myself

knowing how love can hurt.


Its seduction of me, dissolving my man barriers

biologically, to procreate

 or create a new personality, a deepening

humility, her womanhood hands.

Not giving in completely

touching sweetly

but staying strong.


Going into the winter to mark my trees

not flinching in the dark early morning

casting an eye cold as a telescope

moving inexorably

a part of nature, insect, star.

This is how I'll love

and live with her.




a line, (a short blue one)



Bad Movie


We should have gone outside instead of watching one

of the sillier, senseless, meaningless movies it is possible

to rent or buy. Winter or not the fields and woods

are at least real, commensal and understandable if

you know the genus and species. Know the genome

and biome. Learn the physics and music.


But this much reality requires an escape, hence

bad movie. A bad book is better than a bad movie.

A good movie beats a bad book, but a good book is best

and a great poem trumps all. Will my son Zach be one

who applies the scientific method? Can Aaron explain

God’s intentions to the people? Their mother and I will wait.




a line, (a short blue one)



New Mind


The mind is the body

paying attention to what

it is seeing and doing.


Morning tea, unemployed

was one thing twenty years ago

and another now, two babies.


Yet when the boys pay

attention to what they do

a small rift in time opens


to name

plants and play

tunes.  In that rift


the quiet morning streams

by.  Work on clothing,

tools and food


gathering and preparation.

The young children practice

holding hands steady


new mind to attend.




a line, (a short blue one)



To Go On


If you see a hawk

on a bough at field's edge

beyond the corner you should have turned

maybe it's a sign to go on.


Such as during an improvisation on

Flamingo or I've Got You Under My Skin

you play in the wrong key or mode completely

maybe it's a sign to go on, in the wrong key.


Or when my sons cry not wanting

to be alone, I'm upstairs writing

or just enjoying trees in every direction

it too may be a sign to go on alone.




a line, (a short blue one)



Certain Days


Certain days planned to be eventful

I look forward to for weeks, setting

and characters, and the work days march forward

toward the horrible or pleasurable

and the day comes, it comes without hesitating or hurrying

although I hurry and hesitate

and when it is here, going by

during my hesitation or hurry did I

think what I wanted to ask?




a line, (a blue one)


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