on the frozen lake
images of summers
that may not come,
and it is that time of year again
when we are reminded of ghosts,
goblins, witches and saints
knocking at our door
for sacrifices for a trick
even though we have no neighbors,
or pumpkin lit like a severed head
on the snow.
Yet out here no man is an island,
and viruses do creep in
through the cracks of our cabin
in spite of the extra insulation.
like a comet burning up,
your tiny body so much like the fledgling
fallen out of its nest this summer
when you and I nestled it on its branch
where it waited for its first flight.
Your mother's mask of fear
wants to take you in,
while I still believe in saints to come,
the saints of my childhood
who will drive ghosts and witches back
underground where they belong
until next year.
Your smile reminds me of me,
your eyes heavy
and understanding what my father
must have seen before his deathbed,
what I fear for not seeing.
You seem willing to hatch out
into that netherworld
into the frozen lake.
I will not let it happen.
Prayers must still work
in these words that cannot be beautified.
when I can look into the lake
and see the swan
I once killed for Christmas dinner.
Smiling, I shall be ready
as you seem now,
to fly like a cygnet
on wings as white as light
and embrace It
as I would my mother
who too beckons in the distance
of this night.
Crimson Rice (1990), Librado Press
Alaska The Last Frontier (1991) Limestone Press, Kingston, Canada.
Lauren at Two, (1991) Edwen Mellen Press
What Shall I Tell You, Nikos? (1993) Edwen Mellen Press.
Where do the Children Go? (1994) Kawabata Press, Cornwall, UK .
Mother Speaks (1997) Paper Radio, Portland, Oregon.
Poetry in Foreign Language:
Resurrection, French poetry (1993) Pensee Universelle, Paris.
Ou sont les femmes d’antan (1995) St. Germain des Pres, Paris.
Letters of Misanthrope Dogood Goodman, Createspace, (2010)
Lauren at Two (originally published by Edwen Mellen Press) reprinted by Createspace (2010)
Notes on Russian America by Kirill Timofeevich Khlebnikov Limestone Press, Kingston, Canada, 1990.
The Biography of Fedor Litke, UAF Press, Fairbanks, Alaska, 1996.