Author: William Cowan

  • The jelly fish, small as a word

    (an English sonnet) In the crystalline, becalmed air The thought held its place there By the picture of large regret, The sailors’ sorrow, the broken net That caught not fish the day described Windswept in that darkening bay. Now the picture is seen as skill, A trial, a test of human will Where brush was…

  • After the Deluge

    The world is on hold. The axis has been tilted. Day is slightly less, a blink, a yawn, then gone. Events go racing by with the debris of the lost. That which we hold onto is slipping away. We grasp at each other never sure that our own shore will ever be secure. It is…

  • Just My Lot

    Have you crossed serious roads and not looked back? Part of your brain sees “destination,” another part the walking that “goads” the doing though lacking directions. Alone is final, for then there is no one to say the pillar of salt behind could have been you.

  • construct

    with apologies to Padgett Powell if you could catch a swallow or swallow a ketch, which would work for you? the way language wends its way thru us is still mysterious & twisted by “inner” logic unknown the thought to word movement is unfathomable. do you search for the word & no one works at…

  • Let Go

    There is order in the fragments. Cups in a late night diner are melody, stacked chairs the staff. Chaff comes, goes, we separate not always wisely. I hold on too long to the discards, the stones, and rocks. Rocks, beautiful stones arranged worn do not feed or satisfy. I’m down in my cups amongst the…

  • In This Season

    Night and there is rain in the background hitting all the surfaces available out of view an invisible gamelan orchestra of no one there playing a song we cannot follow to a non-end Machinery sporadically strums a counter rhythm waiting its turn, biding time with no purpose to propose The emptying out of all desires,…

  • nothing here

    look/hear before it disappears: the sump pump dumps & overflows the sharp edged wind slams ’round like a spoiled child in an enclosed room light sparkles off the shaking leaves as we leave observing for work routine put away seeing the attention to detail, say, in Robert Ryman’s white canvases and the slowing down it…

  • Part of the Story

    Making lists at night to close the eyes and mind Street light seems to blind as the shades move in the bind between Dreams flows the islands I will never “see” to unpack the list sublime & at last to consume this desired, fading, rapturous time

  • Within the Forest are the Trees

    Everything that is not gist could be clutter or the forest with the distant sleigh weaving a message. The saxophonist solos running scales, changes that reflect, play on the melody. It is all relevant. A complete atmosphere of meaning fills the scene. All supports what all you perceive.

  • Change

    Things that bring Dusk Dust motes Collections Unmade thoughts Harbingers of stasis Rolling over tables In compact stillness Gather the unseen Data that compose Life Moving Self-edited incomplete Just out of grasp.