Ghost; Walking the Horse; Last Call; House Ships; Bardo


The chair rocks on the porch

and I can see you

sitting there, reading.

The hammock swings

and I still see you

after you fixed

the broken ropes.

I still see you at the bridge

where your sons jump

and at the surf where

you ride the waves with them.

I see you on your cell

talking to the people who

you’ll work with next week.

When I change the sheets

in the bed where you slept

I see you still there.

I watch you walk into

town with your younger

son. Coffee for you

hot chocolate for him.

Then I see you

take him into your arms

for a hug as big as you are

a giant shadow.

Walking the Horse

The horse and I, we walk

on a trail through the woods.

I say “whoa,” and she stops.

Then I say “walk,” and she listens

nudges my back as we follow the path

climb over a fallen trunk

move back onto the trail.

I hold her head high to keep her

from eating the leaves she likes.

We keep on to the stone-ridden rise

head again to the meadow

where we stop, turn, then move

towards home. I keep count

of each section of the trail.

I don’t think she knows

where we are, but she stops

when asked, then moves

when told to walk. We pass

the barn, move onto the grass

then along the pasture fence

to the driveway where I

ask her again to stop. She

listens, such a good girl

as we head down the driveway

stop, turn and walk back

to the barn, where she

tells me she has earned

her carrot treats, now

waits for them.

Last Call

Crickets sound loudest

at night, when seasons

start to change, when

night comes sooner

days grow shorter.

Summer crowds

have left, nights

grow cooler.

When wind dies

down, cricket music

sounds louder.

Their love, calls

leg instruments,

they haunt, remind

of times past, of cold

nights that follow.

They bury themselves

till warmth comes again.

House Ships

Houses like ships

in the night

not rocking

but floating

in darkness

with the sea

nearby. Lights

make their way

to moon-struck

waters inky with

lapping noise.

No light in the

house ship

across the street

their owner

gone to the mainland.

Lights in the other ships

people still piloting

into the night sky.


The sweet death

that follows

day’s end is

filled with images

we call dreams

disconnected stories

from that other

world we long for

as we practice entering

into the sacred infinity.

When light returns

so does renewal

but slowly because

we are not ready

to rise and enter it

lying instead half

returned, remembering

with eyes closed

what came before

welcome to remain

in death’s darkness.

This death a prelude

to the one that escapes

with the body that held

the spirit, freeing it to

wander with others.

Brooks Robards
has published 5 volumes of poetry, the most recent of which are “Fishing the Desert” (2015), with photographer Siegfried Halus, and “On Island” (2014), with painter Hermine Hull. Her work in anthologies and periodicals includes: Layman’s Way, Canary, DASH, and many more. She lives in Northampton, MA.