“The mountains are so dominant
that some days the people refuse
to look at them as children
turn away from the fathers who beat them”

~ Jim Harrison  from Songs of Unreason


Ancient mountains                              within a blink

stare granite-faced                               when disaster looms (unseen)

rising through tenebrous skies            before the before

in stillness stand                                  when time slows and stops

until the rumbling rocks fall,              and then, you move to avoid the sudden slap

a tumbling torrent,                              of striking blows–too late to turn away–

forever changing what was                 you’re buried in the detritus of dreams



For Jilly’s Day 12 of 28 Days of Unreason, poetry inspired by the poetry of Jim Harrison. This is another cleave/contrapuntal poem or cleaveapuntal or contracleave. . .

Whatever—it’s a bargain, three poems in one. 😉







Almost Summer When the Mockingbird Sang

I’m not quite sure of the difference between a cleave poem and a contrapuntal poem, but this is one or the other. It’s for Jilly’s Days of Unreason, Day 1 based on this quote from Jim Harrison.

“Spring day, too loud for talk
when bones tire of their flesh”


Spring day, almost summer               when the mockingbird sang

when the air was heavy                       warning of threats—or promise

too tired to sigh                                   seeking an answer

in fragrant breezes                               in curtained windows

but letting go finally                            as the rain fell

whispering, then shouting                   beating a tattoo

calling children to skip and jump       into rainbow puddles




The Dreams that Dance

His thoughts                            And prayers

were broken-winged               she thought, meaningless things

never soaring                          sometimes boring, never driving

far                                            to the stars, where she longed to go,

but earth-tethered                     unfeathered, she remained

he stayed, staid,                       while she longed for blazing rays,

only in night’s dreamscape wandering high      to dance together in the sky









A contrapuntal poem for dVerse, where Paul is tending the bar. My poem is three separate poems.