For months I’d been stuck, unable to take one step in any new direction

For months I’d been stuck, unable to take one step in any new direction. The world kept moving on; I alone was at a standstill. In the autumn, everything took a desolate cast, the colors swiftly fading before my eyes. The sunlight, the smell of the grass, the faintest patter of rain, everything got on my nerves. How many times did I dream of catching a train at night?

Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase

(via lifeinpoetry)

I can hear every bone in my body hefting some part of me

An old moon, lying akilter
among a few pale stars, 
and so quiet on the road
I can hear every bone in my body
hefting some part of me
over its shoulder. Behind me,
my shadow stifles a cough
as it tries to keep up,
for I have set out fast and hard
against this silence,
filling my lungs with hope
on this, my granddaughter’s
birthday, her first, and the day
of my quarterly cancer tests.

~ Ted Kooser. December 15. Clear and 34 at 6 a.m. Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000)

Just as a dancer, turn and turning, may fill the dusty light with a soft swirl

Just as a dancer, turning and turning,
may fill the dusty light with the soft swirl
of her flying skirts, our weeping willow - -
now old and broken, creaking in the breeze - - 
turns slowly, slowing in the winter sun,
sweeping the rusty roof of the barn
with the pale blue lacework of her shadow.

~ Ted Kooser. December 13. Clear and at the freezing point. Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000)

Thinking that nobody would even know the difference

Some hunter, shooting out of season,
maybe last night with a spotlight,
subtracted a good size deer
froom these woods when nobody else
was around but six inches of snow
to take account of it. There’s a track
where he dragged the carcass down
through the trees to a frozen stream
and then over the ice and then up
through the weeds to the county road
where he lifted it into a pickup,
stomped the snow from his boots,
took a pee and lit a smoke,
threw down the match and drove off
thinking that nobody
would even know the difference.

~ Ted Kooser. December 7. New snow. Eight degrees and 6 a.m. Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000)

And the sun in its soft yellow work gloves has come in through the window

I have been sitting here resting
after my morning stroll, and the sun
in its soft yellow work gloves 
has come in through the window
and is feeling around on the opposite wall,
looking for me, having seen me
cheerfully walking along the road
just as it rose, having followed me home
to see what I have to be happy about.

~ Ted Kooser. December 3. Clear and cool. Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2000)