Clear Horizon

September Sky Lydia McClintockphoto by Lydia McClintock


Here are the lyrics to a song by Jan Harmon.  It is sung as a round, and was recorded by Libana:



Winter calls a clear horizon

Like the sea calls to the port

Like the sky calls to the desert

Like the love calls to the heart.


<a href=””>Horizon</a&gt;

Weary eyes that blink

williamson-p06-07-150Alice diary pagepagefromAliceWilliamson’sdiary


Here is a poem I wrote fourteen years ago:

Stray page found in the bottom of the trunk


Brittle yellow paper

rattles in my hand.

Song about the roadway

tarnished by the land

where heat meets sand;

I cannot find the shaper.


Writing’s like a window

roiling with dull sheen.

Watching at the threshold,

child I might have been

bends her back to glean

footmarks from the shadow.


Woodworker and learner

scallop, shred and shrink

sawdust, resin, russet,

weary eyes that blink,

leading me to think

better of the sterner.


Stumbling on the shaper,

not the one I seek,

sharpens breath to shorter,

eyebrows rise to peak,

gulping as I speak

words from yellowed paper.




<a href=””>Blink</a&gt;

The Shock of Pain and Blood


I am a dog lover, but this really happened at the home of a friend who was dog-sitting.

It was so ludicrous, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry:


Dog Bite


I didn’t know the

tottering dachshund,

old and blind as he was,

would bite me. And not on my heel, but

on top!

He gnawed with his sharp canines

on that thin skin barely

covering the veins and tendons.

So few nerves there

that at first I thought

he was just sniffing me

in a calm speculative way.

Then the shock of pain and blood!

So sorry I wore loafers,

not walkers!

And right at April’s end,

when I yearned to crunch along

in the woods.

Now it commands my attention

with reproachful throbbing.






<a href=””>Shock</a&gt;

Agile as Truth


ship rack and lighthouse

Here’s a poem by Adrienne Rich:

For This


If I’ve reached for your lines ( I have)

like letters from the dead that stir the nerves

Dowsed you for a springhead

to water my thirst

Dug into my compost skeletons and petals

you surely meant to catch the light:


At work in my wormeaten wormwood-raftered

stateless underground

have I a plea?


If I’ve touched your finger

with a ravenous tongue

licked from your palm a rift of salt

If I’ve dreamt or thought you

a pack of blood   fresh-drawn

hanging darkred from a hook

higher than my heart

( you who understand transfusion)

where else should I appeal?


A pilot light lies low

while the gas jets sleep

( a cat getting toed from stove

Into nocturnal ice)

language uncommon and agile as truth

melts down the most intractable silence


A lighthouse keeper’s ethics:

you tend for all or none

For this you might set your furniture on fire

a this we have blundered over

as if the lamp could be shut off at will

Rescue denied for some


and still a lighthouse be.



<a href=””>Agile</a&gt;


Definition of loophole. 1 a : a small opening through which small arms may be fired. b : a similar opening to admit light and air or to permit observation. 2 : a means of escape; especially : an ambiguity or omission in the text through which the intent of a statute, contract, or obligation may be evaded.castle-Arrow-slit-or-Arrow-Loop


here is a poem by By George Seferis


An Old Man on the River Bank


To Nani Panayíotopoulo


And yet we should consider how we go forward.
To feel is not enough, nor to think, nor to move
nor to put your body in danger in front of an old loophole
when scalding oil and molten lead furrow the walls.
And yet we should consider towards what we go forward,
not as our pain would have it, and our hungry children
and the chasm between us and the companions calling from the opposite shore;
nor as the bluish light whispers it in an improvised hospital,
the pharmaceutic glimmer on the pillow of the youth operated on at noon;
but it should be in some other way, I would say like
the long river that emerges from the great lakes enclosed deep in Africa,
that was once a god and then became a road and a benefactor, a judge and a delta;
that is never the same, as the ancient wise men taught,
and yet always remains the same body, the same bed, and the same Sign,
the same orientation.
I want nothing more than to speak simply, to be granted that grace.
Because we’ve loaded even our song with so much music that it’s slowly sinking
and we’ve decorated our art so much that its features have been eaten away by gold
and it’s time to say our few words because tomorrow our soul sets sail.
If pain is human we are not human beings merely to suffer pain;
that’s why I think so much these days about the great river,
this meaning that moves forward among herbs and greenery
and beasts that graze and drink, men who sow and harvest,
great tombs even and small habitations of the dead.
This current that goes its way and that is not so different from the blood of men,
from the eyes of men when they look straight ahead without fear in their hearts,
without the daily tremor for trivialities or even for important things;
when they look straight ahead like the traveller who is used to gauging his way by the stars,
not like us, the other day, gazing at the enclosed garden of a sleepy Arab house,
behind the lattices the cool garden changing shape, growing larger and smaller,
we too changing, as we gazed, the shape of our desire and our hearts,
at noon’s precipitation, we the patient dough of a world that throws us out and kneads us,
caught in the embroidered nets of a life that was as it should be and then became dust and sank into the sands
leaving behind it only that vague dizzying sway of a tall palm tree.
                                                          Cairo, 20 June ’42
George Seferis, “Mythistorema” from Collected Poems (George Seferis). Translated, edited, and introduced by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Copyright © 1995 by George Seferis.  Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.
Source: George Seferis: Collected Poems (Princeton University Press, 1995)

<a href=””>Loophole</a&gt;


-vintage-birds-vintage-images tunnicliffe



Here’s a poem by D.H.Lawrence



Somewhere the long mellow note of the blackbird
Quickens the unclasping hands of hazel,
Somewhere the wind-flowers fling their heads back,
Stirred by an impetuous wind. Some ways’ll
All be sweet with white and blue violet.
(Hush now, hush. Where am I?—Biuret—)

On the green wood’s edge a shy girl hovers
From out of the hazel-screen on to the grass,
Where wheeling and screaming the petulant plovers
Wave frighted. Who comes? A labourer, alas!
Oh the sunset swims in her eyes’ swift pool.
   (Work, work, you fool—!)

Somewhere the lamp hanging low from the ceiling
Lights the soft hair of a girl as she reads,
And the red firelight steadily wheeling
Weaves the hard hands of my friend in sleep.
And the white dog snuffs the warmth, appealing
For the man to heed lest the girl shall weep.

(Tears and dreams for them; for me
Bitter science—the exams. are near.
I wish I bore it more patiently.
I wish you did not wait, my dear,
For me to come: since work I must:
Though it’s all the same when we are dead.—
I wish I was only a bust,
All head.)


<a href=””>Study</a&gt;