A Childhood

The horse had been beaten and flies crawled on the beat marks.

A Country Doctor

A gravely ill man was waiting for me in a village ten miles distant.

A Dangerous Creature

The dog glares back at Roger, his eyes on fire, but he doesn’t let her go.

A Dark Place

There was no sense in brushing off or any other civilized thing.

A Farmer’s Life: Xiwuqi, Inner Mongolia

For my vacation last summer, I visited the Bateer family in Xiwuqi.

A Horse Walks into a Bar

I sometimes forget I’m a horse. I’m also a man dressed as a horse.

A Life with Bears

I want to focus on bears. On knowing them, and on what they need.

A Lot Going On Up There

The hawk moves out of the way to let a little hot package of breath rise up.

A Model for the Priesthood

Tongue, eye, nose—which has the shortest route to the brain, heart?

A Prophecy Is Nothing

It’s so easy these days to receive what you thought you needed.

A Sleigh Ride

Some inner voice told her that now or never her fate would be decided.

A Winter Walk

After breakfast I set out to see what my wild neighbors have been up to.

Adams Morgan

“I just moved here and I want to get a plot in the garden. What should I do?”

Addendum and Other Poems

The animals are dying. All the beautiful women are dying too.

Adventures of a Would-Be Filmmaker

Since I am in my seventies, it is now or never, and I know it.

Aeneas Leaves Kansas

All night the insects’ grinding jaws chewed through the darkness.

Affliction Parish and Other Poems

He tuned the future backward as he left the ringing water to reclaim me.


If he’d had that seat belt on, he would have been pinned inside.

After the Imaginary Crime

Always I obliged the urban tree, any speechless unblessed nature.

Against Surrealism

…when you walk to the edge of the Mekong and make a wish…

All My Pretty Ones

The hound, the leash, the fence, the hens. So many of them.

All-American Biography

Snows piling in his crying mouth. Cold gave him a light complexion.

American Idol

Karen was, in that moment, nothing, emptiness. She was oblivion.

An Elegy Beginning and Ending with a Mouse

I let the baby mouse live because I cannot kill what has ears.

An Ethical Dinner Dilemma

“Even though we aren’t carrying out the deed, we are the most responsible.”

Anemoia and Other Poems

I want to cut loose from her each wistful sigh I hear escape her lips.

Animals & Instruments

His fingers traveling through these notes can assuage, I think, all pain.

Another Pastoral

Tell me our species matters more, tell me that, and I, I will crawl back.

Another Poem with Deer in It

The highway hot with possibility, a new herd expected every five miles.

Are We Not Men?

The girl marched directly up to me, glaring, and said, “You hit my dog.”