Spring 2008


Morning wilderness
borders on the land of dreams –
a star winked at me


A matter of fact
is a matter of fiction –
so spring is my dream


Clock chimes the hour –
I don’t count, knowing only
that now stays afloat

Bothered Beaver

The bothered beaver
strikes the lake’s bass drum and dives
to white dog’s surprise

Pink Haze

Weeping cherry’s bloom
makes a pink haze on blue sky –
this grief’s delicate


The exquisite scent
of a blossom I don’t know –
would a name spoil it?

Lone Goose

Lone goose, white bellied,
under white clouds, streaking west,
squawking all the way

5 Hawks

5 hawks circling light
at Cross Campus and Osler –
what prey do they see?

Green Eyes

One green eye in sun
and one green eye in shadow –
question mark cat sleeps


A blue jay flashed through
the weeping cherry’s pink veil –
that was yesterday SF, April, 2008

More Like

Now I look more like
my father than like myself –
who was he am I?

Lovely Ugly

Lovely ugly croak
of a heron taking flight –
is mine different?

SF, 9 April, 2008

Cranes wait by the bay –
the Olympic torch is lost –
Everest stands still

A Streetcar

A streetcar renamed
lack of desire, how aging
brings want of wanting

Yellow Rimmed Eye

Small black bird, yellow
rimmed eye, tends a puddle where
cherry blossoms float


Fatigue and sorrow
mix with sixty year olds’ joys –
I’m past purity

Heat Wave, Point Reyes, April 12, 2008

Resplendent in warmth,
blue ocean, barely rolling –
ease, immensity


Wild iris scattered
throughout seaside cow pastures –
specks of majesty


Bird against blue, hawk
keeps its shadow on a string,
stains green grass with ink

Tomales Bay

Now the setting sun
casts the bay as silver plate –
breeze rustles the trees


Hills climb to the sky,
drop to their knees by the sea,
hold millenia


Black cattle lowing
on the hill confide in breeze
blowing from the sea


Four dusky quail walk
a dusty cow path – red winged
blackbirds sing in reeds


What crows have to say,
they speak in the squawkative,
the case that’s their own

No Rush

poppies, little cups of gold
in no rush at all

Coming Death

Close friend’s coming death
tells me the wind holds mine, too –
even the moonlight

My Death’s Horse

I am my death’s horse –
it rides me over the hills
to canter the beach


I’m trying to find
pearls in nightmare – what rubs there
makes all things precious


I hadn’t noticed
eucalyptus leaves glisten
in seaside sun, breeze


Hush of afternoon –
I’m coming back to myself,
whom I barely know


I fell asleep in
the tent of infinite dreams –
I’m a dragonfly

Free Turkey

Blue of gobbler’s face,
brown splendor of his ruffed tail –
turkey struts his stuff

Spring Hail, Seattle

Spring hail beats leaf drums –
sunshine yellow skunk cabbage
glows up from the ground

4:20 AM

I wake from my dream
to the first halting birdsong –
miracle’s music


Warbler singing high
in a tree – dinosaur, how
did it come to this?

Wind Combs

Wind combs wildflowers
on the hill’s spine by the sea –
if my hair could bloom… Point Reyes

Tamales Point

This spring spectacle –
millions of bright flower eyes –
every year, just now Point Reyes

Bolinas Lagoon

Black seals on a bar
flop about, enjoying spring
just the way I do

Twin Towers

Twin yellow pockmarked
morel towers – how eagerly
my eyes pick them out

May 11, 2008

When the sun comes out
I’m another me, someone
woken by the light

Tree Peony

The tree peony
sheds white petals like a tent
going to pieces

Dream – RAR, March 10, 2008

I swam to the side
of a dying friend, dripping
as we were at birth

Not Prepared

I was not prepared
for anything that transpired –
this, my life’s glory

On Black Lake

White swans on black lake,
white dogwoods blooming on shore,
white dog by my side

Never Been

Darkest miracle
is death, the return to where
we have never been

Gold Drop

I am very small
and getting smaller with each
gold drop of a day

After Hail

Sunshine after hail,
clouds true to no fixed purpose,
unsettled as mind

Buck A,K.

Did the buck that slammed
into your car mark you then
for an early death?


Cardinal’s wings’ whir
as scarlet bursts from a clump
of gold swamp iris

Close and Far

I am an old man
who once was young, memory
close and far as dream


The stir of the breeze
in the May green of the trees
as light keeps changing

Old Apple

Blue jay in the breeze
lights in the old apple tree,
stays a single beat

Wine Of Joy

In the wine of joy,
is the flavor of sorrow
and yet we drink it

Lip Of June

On the lip of June
this forest is enchanted –
a faun sleeps in grass


You, white, naked, new –
here are the snows of this year
which will melt in time


I’m trying to know
much less than I did before –
ambition’s a pest

Wonder Of Now

The wonder of now
is that it is always here
so I’m not alone

Dog Daze

The hammer of heat
comes crashing down before noon –
dog inhabits daze


I’m a wordworker
or is it that words work me,
take me for their wood?

Death Fruits

Death’s everywhere
and then fruits like a fungus
from the underground


In the heat, basil
plants pop up, tiny green spades –
I taste what they’ll be


Up the wild cherry
has the wisteria climbed,
lacking its own bones


White dog savors taste
of the very first black cap –
next come mulberries


Strange undertaking –
we sail out to meet our deaths
under bright blue sky

Black Cohosh

Phosphorescent white,
witches’ candles now ignite
rise up from the green


My thoughts walk with me
impersonate the tangles
of the climbing vines

June 11, 1977

That grief can sweeten
over vast stretches of time
is bitter wonder

Between Sets

Silence in the swamp
as the frogs rest between sets –
then a sudden twang


Two small spots of gold
sit up in a tree, feasting
on ripe mulberries


Yellow sunlight flaps
its wings – swallowtail crosses
creek from which deer drink

Late June Afternoon

White dog’s fast asleep –
rumble of distant thunder
competes with her snore

Sour Cherries For Pie

Red as winter coals,
but smooth and safe to the touch,
picked from their green orbs

Spring 2007

Old Ohio Barn

Old barn – blue sky slats
mixed in among the gray. as
sky mixes with mine

Yola, April 5, 2007

Naked as a child
I go to April graveyard –
snow falls in Cleveland

Over It

I’m over it &
what I’m over is myself,
tiny as zerO

Lake Erie

Lake Erie in spring
a slate gray on which I wrote
my first history

In Puzzlement

Places of my youth
stand in puzzlement, wonder
just who I might be

Few Simple

A few simple things,
but what are they: can I count
them on my fingers?

My Puzzlement

When I meet myself
my puzzlement increases
but is sweetened, too

Piece Of Dead Fox

In her mouth white dog
holds a large piece of dead fox,
smiling as she does

Black Type

The coots are black type
scattered on the windy lake,
bobbing with the waves

Just Before

The beaver left off
just before the tree toppled –
what distracted her?

Joy’s Mist

The press of blind days
that don’t know where they’re going,
soft kiss of joy’s mist

Slippery Now

I’ve no occasion
except for slippery now
that I just can’t grab


White dog is groaning
with desire, hope, pleasure
all mixed together


There’s snow on my cheek,
but I can not ski down it,
since I’m the mountain

Cherry Dance

Weeping cherry’s dance
in the breeze is more complex
than any cloth skirt’s

Cleveland, April 2007

I miss my parents
in how I forget myself
and see only cloud

Company Of Stones

I’m bereaved when I
leave the cemetery and
company of stones

Flowers, Too

Words are flowers, too
I can arrange them only
as they bloom in me


Wafers of blue sky
sandwiched in between cloud sheep
that have no shepherd

Strange Spring

Plum petals and snow
mix in gusts of April wind –
this is a strange spring

Lost In A Cold Spring

Lost in a cold spring,
the fruit trees can’t help blooming,
blush on a gray sky


Dripping vanilla
down from the sky, the locusts
once more in sweet bloom


Golden coins scattered
through lush May green by the creek –
yellow swamp iris

Slant Bough

Dying oak’s slant bough
crosses where the raccoons live
on its way to sky

Lost Ash

Fallen mountain ash
in autumn snow, its berries
red as drops of blood

Canes In Bloom

Can these white flowers
bear the succulent rapture
of red raspberries?

GW’s Death, May 22, 2007

White lotus petals
floating down echo snow in
the cemetery


Bull frogs discussing
mysterious policies –
swampo profundo

Rabbit Paradise

Clover lifts its head,
white as snow, so much sweeter,
rabbit paradise

June 7, 2007

Now dryad’s saddles
are black and shriveled, worn out
riding moonlit nights

Park Heights Avenue

Field of winter wheat,
sable, at Park Heights, where crows
and black hats commune

Swift As Sunlight

Through tight loops of vine
a pair of goldfinches dart
as swift as sunlight

Past Harvard

Vanity is truth –
this goes past Harvard’s motto
to self-disclosure


Pink the new peak leaves
of these young oaks reaching to
touch my ancient chin

Ghost Tongue

Ghosts in river mist
discuss what was, what will be,
till sun steals their tongue

Winter 2007-8

Winter 2007

First dawn of winter –
pale blue sky with rose margin –
a few mourning doves


Shadows in sunshine
all of those whom I have lost
shadows in sunshine

Blue Jay

Blue jay in the fog
as if the sky had escaped
from captivity

In Fog

Every water bird
in fog seems a part of dream
and the white dog, too


White dog disperses
coots – thunderous the applause
of rising lobed toes


I’ve wandered so much
I’ve lost hope of mapping where
I’ve been, where I am

Dream Sea

I’m sleepy and want
to drift down into dream sea
to become a fish

Like Thirst

Sun slakes appetite
like thirst after grey days
and changes my mind


Do I hold my grief
or does my grief carry me?
Where are we going?


Hidden in the mist
myriad geese are squawking –
then the beat of wings

Great Blue

Great blue heron makes
the ugliest squawk as he
launches into fog


I’m trying to guess
what’s the meaning of all this –
I’m fifteen again


Red buds on green canes
of wild roses in winter –
spring is coiled to spring

Look Out

What I see when I
look out my windows depends
on what is inside

Think Less

I want to think less
but shadows are suggestive
even in half light

Oak Smoke

The smell of oak smoke
under a gray wintry sky –
I am burning, too

My Forest

Contradictions are
the pillars, beams of my house,
wood of my forest

Bowl Games

New Year’s Day football
at once leashes, unleashes
the savage in me


Finishing a year,
starting anew – just the work
done by an instant


Shot from morning’s bow,
arrowheads of geese over
the crest of the hill

A Black Stick

White dog wades river,
finds a black stick to chew on,
declares happiness


Murmuring burning
our old oak in the fireplace
gives tongues to lost years


I learned by watching
I could not say what I saw
but it became me


What’s witless wanders,
what has wits wonders – and these
two come together

Not Imitation

Not imitation,
but another dimension,
like silence fiction

Cold Far

The moon never speaks –
cold far mirror sees nothing –
I can’t stop dreaming


The wholesale florist
is next door to the prison –
scents escape with ease


As evening comes down
I’m living in a lush hush –
a star shoots at me

Another Season

Another season’s
sun shines today, as if the spring
simply couldn’t wait


A line of white tails
quivering with each quick bound
across the black stream


Pebbles in the stream
become smoothed without knowing
anything at all

On The Wire

Squirrel on the wire
pauses to sniff snowy air,
then goes on crossing


My old friend’s dying
as I am too, only he’s
quicker than I am

Just This Once

Man is the flower
who blooms thinking, “Just this once
and never again”

Old Eyes

Old eyes, new wonder –
ducks dozing on the harbor
in January


Sex invented us,
not the other way around –
but we make it new

Skirts Of Ice

Rocks in skirts of ice
sit like Buddha in the lake
under winter sun


Art is artifact,
unless it is fact, just as
rock is rock, sky, sky


Rotting in the ground,
my parents are preserved now
between my temples

My Parents

I mourn my parents
in each breath that fans the fire
of my extinction

Gray Rainy

Like gray rainy days
fatigue steals something away –
the inner sunlight

Mind’s Eye

Midwinter mind’s eye
sees the weeping cherry tree
in full pink blossom

Bursts Of Breath

The world in my mind
will die with me, save it live
in these bursts of breath


When the wake is gone,
then the vessel disappears –
ocean’s all that’s left

Dark Coots

Thousands of dark coots
still as print on the blue page
of this winter lake


A featureless day
a gray sky in a gray mood –
purr, question mark cat


Just before leap day
sudden scent of spring in the air –
I’m trying to bud

Each New day

Older each new day
my puzzlement is deeper,
light as a feather


Nothing to relate
save for the sly happenstance
of formless moments

Foggy Days

Understanding was
the great passion of my youth –
now I’m one with fog

Dead Wood

The wind goes howling
through the almost waking oaks
so dead wood spears fly

Alonzo King

I watch the dancers
and want to live twenty times,
no, ninety more times


Warm day catapults
the first plum trees into bloom –
life and death, again

One More

It keeps happening –
I’m becoming someone else,
one more impostor


I’m pursuing you
through all your hills and valleys
and I am tiny

Tree Frogs

Tree frogs are piping
before St. Patrick’s own day,
quite drunk on spring green

This Side

This side of sixty
early spring’s more delicate,
red buds, ravishing

Coming, Going

Each day’s one less day,
each new day is one more day –
I’m coming, going

Sheen Of Pearl

I can own nothing
and nothing can possess me –
sky the sheen of pearl

Winter 2005-6

Black River

Cardinal over
the black river makes a shock
something like waking

Right Hip

I slip on the ice,
land on my right hip and see
the world made all new

Print Roosts

Blackbirds in bare oak
shadows of blackbirds on snow –
print roosts then flies


In such recesses
of me as I but half know
I invent a life

Dark River

Across dark river
sycamores reach bright white arms,
join against sky’s blue

One White Whisker

Just one white whisker
caught in sun says sleeping cat
is not a gray rock

Sloppy V

Geese in sloppy V –
the settled ease of rich fields
has wrecked discipline

Clocks Buried

Sixtieth birthday –
clocks buried in my cells know
nothing comes easy


Today’s dawning is
unlike yesterday’s, unlike
as peas in a pod

What I’ll Never

I swim in detail,
what is unaccountable,
what I’ll never say


Garden lies fallow,
but underneath is ferment
just what works in me

Heavy Heart

Dad, I watched you pry
boulders from the earth and knew
your heart was heavy

Mute Transmutes

Now clouds cloak the sky
as a mute transmutes horn’s sound,
finds a new beauty

Light’s Insignia

I don’t mean to tell
the whole story, just to show
light’s insignia


Dozens of finches
in tangled winter bare vine –
all still an instant

Piece Of Cloud

Dog’s a piece of cloud
come down to wander the woods
sniffing for squirrels

Not White

I’d begin again
if I could find alphabet
whose hair was not white


I cherish the crows
who lived through West Nile virus –
surviving’s glad, sad

My Creation

My creation is
a dog howling at the moon
which is a deaf pearl

Almost Twenty

Black cat I wait on
demands water fresh and cold –
she’s almost twenty

Fierce Photon Flood

Trees hold their arms up,
children as we are of sky,
the fierce photon flood


Contraptions of breath,
these words try to seal my time
into small capsules


The sun is a smile
in a pale blue winter sky –
its warmth is a kiss

Last Year’s Compost

The garden is black
where I spread last year’s compost –
once and future food

All New

I keep wandering
both in the past and present –
it’s all new to me


What’s concentrated
can be small and then explode
beyond all scales

Gray Cat Jumps

Gray cat jumps white dog
this rainy winter evening
and heads out the door

Hard As A Pebble

Feeling can be round
and small, hard as a pebble,
ten thousand years smooth

Right There

Every single day,
I start from the beginning
and end up right there

Soft Sunlit

Soft sunlit morning
and the birds that are singing
brighten it further

Rich Beyond

Circle I survey
is small, perhaps just a dot –
still rich beyond me


Faces of the dead
are so alive inside me,
full of expression

Do I Keep

Do I keep the dead
or do they keep me, each one
an inspiration?

Traveling Still

All places I’ve been
fit easily in my head –
I’m traveling still

Least Exact

What’s least exact, though
most exacting, is how love
enters a heart, leaves

Winter Sky’s Cotton

Winter sky’s cotton,
as far as the eye can see –
bare oaks are pitchforks

Listening For

I’m listening for
what barely announces
it’s coming to be

The Huge Now

What I remember
flowers in the huge now, casts
the spell of its scent

Old Elms

Under those old elms,
I read books – they held sky,
wouldn’t let it fall

Lipless, Not Lifeless

Lipless, not lifeless,
those elms didn’t criticize
but let me read me

Ancient Elms

I couldn’t suspect
ancient elms rooted in me
to outlive themselves

Gray Drizzle – 12-31-2005

After gray drizzle
comes golden sunshine, last day,
unexpected joy

How Loud

I’m surprised how loud
a downy woodpecker is
drumming under clouds

Red Gold

These winter meadows
are red gold with last year’s grass
bent low to the ground

Reddest Berry

The reddest berry
on thorned cane is cardinal
that flies up, away

Drowsy Gold

A warm winter day
the sun is a drowsy gold
willows start to green


The skunk cabbage tips
come up out of their silos,
point into blue sky


In autumn I lose
everyone – leaves falling
from the tree I am

Tawny Winter

Tawny winter fields
under silver rising sun –
white dog and no snow


White dog patches holes
in my heart even before
I can feel their hurt

Silver Snakeskin

The river at dawn
is silver snakeskin, moving
and still all at once


Skunk cabbage bursting-
a green rhinoceros horn-
from winter puddle

Like A Blanket

Silence is on me
the way a blanket of snow
lies on winter woods


Winter aconite,
arrowheads of fierce sunshine
piercing the doomed snow

Greta’s Gone

Now that Greta’s gone,
the white dog and the gray cat
lie together, still

In The Ground

Greta’s in the ground,
yet she leaps swift in my head,
meows, as black as coal

Winter 2006-7

First Day Of Winter

First day of winter
whiff of skunk under cream cloud
river dark and slow

Sweet Goal

I dreamt that I scored
a sweet goal in the World Cup
and then I woke up

Freedom’s Scent

My dreams remind me
that I don’t know who I am –
they bear freedom’s scent

Loose Mesh

The loose mesh of mind
catches so much, lets so much
slip through without trace

Solstice Tree

A parrot’s flying
parallel to the ceiling
clinging to the fir

Changing Shape

Aftermath of love
when the dead are mists in mind
changing shape, color


The oaks are charcoal
on cloud as a gray squirrel
dives into ivy

At Haulover Bay, St. John

How could I have guessed
squid could be so seductive?
love’s not deductive


A tiny litter
of meerkats in my office
on a shelf of dreams


I am older now
than I’ve ever been, younger
than I’ll ever be

School On Magnolia

This jade is the last
living remnant of the school
where I taught myself

Wild Rose Tangle

In wild rose tangle
twittering small bird chorus
sings praise of sunlight


I’ve now put to bed
those who once put me to bed –
their last sheets are earth

Ice Ferns

Now sun starts to thaw
ice ferns from the dark puddles
in this muddy trail

Quaint As Clothing

I’m always naked
in my mind, so ideas
seem quaint as clothing


Sun in the tangle
of leafless winter trees makes
a delicate rose

Flicker’s Head

Top of flicker’s head
all the way up an oak, red
hammer on blue sky

Last Day

Last day of the year
my stomach aches for the past,
for the future, too.

How Wishes Travel

How wishes travel
down the generations, work
mischief and music

Black Noose

A black noose of coots
surrounds three snow white still swans
winter visitors

First Day – 2007

First day of this year
and I’m the same old me who
keeps slipping away

Mob Of Robins

A mob of robins
on the glistening green grass –
did they never leave?

Pink And Eager

Just whose tongue is this
in my mouth, pink and eager
even when I’m not?

Much Too Much

No declarations
of hope or bright ambition –
I’ve felt much too much

Fallen Jerusalem, BVI

Rounded rock and blue
sea and sky, Jerusalem
Fallen is just this


I’m leaving behind
tracks to show I didn’t know
where I was going

Final Shore

I’ve started dreaming
about my parents – they have reached
the far final shore

Not Me

The writer’s not me –
if he starts to think he is,
then he’s lost himself

Fog Pillars

Pillars of fog fill
winter morning woods as I
hike toward the sun


This warmest winter
coins January of gold
routs buds from their sleep

Changing Sky

Twenty winters I’ve
stared on these same bare gray oaks
against changing sky

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning, tea
and late oranges, sound of Bach
across seas of time

Deeper Mind

What my senses say
is question and answer both
for my deeper mind

Looking Away

Wisdom of looking
away from what I am, from
changing how of now


What I undertake
each day is but prelude to
last undertaking

Spring In Winter, January, 2007

The purple crocus
have now joined the wild parade
of spring in winter

No Confusion

White dog and gray cat
basking in warm winter air
show no confusion

Rain On Slate

The white dog asleep,
rain on the slate roof, gray cat
hiding under porch

Far From Home

In winter sunlight,
the pink orchid’s opening
so far from its home

Far Away

Songs from far away
and long ago, Bahia,
where beauty found me

Blue The Sky

How blue the sky is,
how many times I’ve said this,
how blue this sky is

Color Of Milk

At last it’s turned cold
and the puddles are frozen –
ice color of milk

Sunlight And Shadow

Sunlight and shadow
chase each other through the day
till blood tips the west


My mind is a crowd
each one with a crowd inside,
each with a story

One Voice

I’m a crowd, can’t speak
with one voice, but must wander
one voice to the next

Greenest Habit

The greenest habit,
is the greenest habitat,
how mind sings itself

To Gaze At The Moon

I’m turning away
from what I might come to know
to gaze at the moon


Here is where I am
and here, too, is what I am –
grizzled old fool – yes


My brain is slowing
and I ask “Better or worse?”
freedom’s not knowing

Wave After Wave

As seacoasts withstand
wave after wave, so we bear
our deep hopes’ dashing

Lone Point

That one cardinal
is the lone point of color
in winter landscape

Ten Years Past

Ten years past I met
a bald eagle on this branch –
for me he ‘s still here

Snow Drops

Snow drops are blooming
in this strange January
that can’t make one flake

Black Snail

Here’s a small black snail
with convoluted chambers,
its own life of sense

So Quiet

If I could open
the door into white dog’s dream
I’d keep so quiet


Gray cat is asleep
on the newspaper – I can’t
bear to disturb her

No Snow

White tails of brown does,
white of swans, white dog trotting
blue lake’s winter rim


Late afternoon light
intricacies of meeting
half a moon in blue


High in leafless oak
black vase shape of crow, watching
featureless blue sky


In a sand island
in the stream, cuneiform
imprint of deer hooves

Throwing Books Away

Throwing books away
after a lifetime’s reading –
no print in my heart

Yellow Bloom

Under this gray sky
witch hazel’s in yellow bloom
by the old white oak

New Bridge

Tiny children cross
creek on new fallen oak bridge –
they’re bright with delight

Like Skin

This form’s so simple
I’m almost ashamed of it,
but it fits like skin


The monk in the flames
can’t step out to talk to me –
I have to go in

Bright Shooting Stars

Rainbows in the hills
by day and bright shooting stars
above the night wind

My Company

I find myself here –
I’m glad of my company –
two hermits in one


Now there’s quiet here –
I don’t know where it’s come from
or how it got here

Next To Nothing

All I can put down
of me is next to nothing –
so I nuzzle it


Simplest things escape
like moths in silver moonlight –
no calling them back

Dawn’s Red Ribbon

The bare oaks impale
dawn’s red ribbon on their tines,
lift it as it grows

On Mei Yao-ch’en’s “Mourning For My Wife, Three Poems”

A thousand long years
before my birth Mei Yao Ch’en
knew my love and grief

Late Winter

I’m already drunk –
cherry blossom ecstasy
is born in winter

Fox On New Snow

A fox on new snow,
the great big red bushy tail’s
sleek gliding shadow


The phantom desire
rules my life and makes me want
what I do not want

Wisps Of Smoke

High up in the sky
migrating geese – wisps of smoke
without a chimney

Snow Storm

From featureless cloud
falling white flapping tatters
become one earth sheet


Sweet, babble of doves
late in winter as snow melts
and the snow drops bloom

Blue Pair

A blue pair of jays
in the bare weeping cherry
under charcoal sky


is a country all its own
where I am not me

Applause of Coots

The applause of coots
taking off from this small lake
that’s still half frozen

A New Peep

Spring light’s suddenness
changes the cardinals’ song –

Winter 2003-4

Winter Solstice

Dawn after solstice
first pale pink light tells me sun
has not deserted


I am always stuck
between “Hello” and “Goodbye”,
mispronouncing both

Snow News

News of snow can’t reach
the worms in the earth until
it melts and then delves

Afternoon Tea

In a cup of tea
I fall asleep, kept afloat
by a raft of dreams

No Way

No way to retrieve
a flake of snow, not quite like
all the rest, melted

Sudden Now

Now’s always sudden
for here it is, and then not –
whisper of regret

Pearl And Grey

Sky’s a patchwork quilt
of pearl and grey, whose restless
seams are never done

No Hurry

No hurry’s shut up
with the snail in its dark whorl,
slide on slimy foot


While I am reading
my mind flies away, a bird
seeking its own sky

Like A Wedge

Grief is like a wedge
that waits for sledge’s impact
to split me open

Oak Smoke

The smell of oak smoke
in winter sunlight tells me
I’m alive right now

Unruffled Ocean

The winter sky’s blue
as an unruffled ocean
free of continents


Whisper of water
as flames lick a new oak log,
one hour from ashes

Stained Glass

Arms of winter oaks
carve blue sky into a maze
of stained glass windows

Skins Of Night

Grapes with skins of night
hold the fervors of sunlight
of a season past

Vanilla Moon

Setting in the west
vanilla moon’s reclining
on its bright backside

My Worries

All afternoon I
tried to sleep off just the fact
of all my worries


I am a scholar
whose subject is ignorance,
my own, massive


I’m next to nothing,
like lace chewed leaf or the frost
that morning will melt

Last Day

I watched the gold sun
set this last day of the year,
half moon at sky’s peak

Do Does

Do does carrying
next spring’s fawns have rough mornings
getting used to it?


How polite the splash
of small dark ducks taking off
from the blue of lake

New Year’s Eve

This year’s last evening –
when midnight comes we’ll drink just
as time’s drinking us


Sometimes I can read
my parents’ shapes in the clouds,
then wind scatters them

New Year’s Bloom

Next door the yellow
forsythia is blooming
in New Year’s moonlight

Old Hut

Something stirs in me
when I come on this old hut –
did I once live here?

Soft Clouds

Soft clouds floating in
from the west cover the face
of the waxing moon

Manhattan Wander

Manhattan wander
brings every face I’ve known
new before my eyes

Frisco Climb

San Francisco climb
takes me over a hill’s top
to another world

First Location

Cleveland’s sky of soot
keeps ashes before my eyes –
who were my forbears


Here, inland, right now,
I’ve a longing for the sea
and not a clue why

Meadow Knoll

On that meadow knoll
a lone oak flirts with lightning
that’s branded it once


White dog lifts covey
of mourning doves twittering
into the soft air


Listening is hard
and not work at all, no way
to trace how it blooms

Old Stump Cathedral

Old stump cathedral,
green moss spires, a vast dark vault,
insect worshippers

When I’m Not

I’m brushing with light
the facts of my life, so that
I am when I’m not

January Blossoms

This same cherry tree
blossoms each January,
pink flakes with white ones

January Twilight

Pink light slips from lips
of cold blue bottle of day,
as full ice moon climbs

Moon Pitch

From far far away
a full seamless moon curves through
half built hospital

Sudden Snow Squall

A sudden snow squall
last five minutes, then stops, gives way
to blue sky, gold sun

White Ice Full Moon

That white ice full moon
has been waiting forever
for a billiard cue

Fingers Of Cloud

Fingers of cloud stretch
across the sky, but can’t flex
to catch flying geese

Cold Dawn

Each paw a column,
white dog moves like a draft horse,
breathing plumes of steam


My questions are like
the quills of a porcupine,
helpless underneath

Fox’s Footprints

The fox’s footprints
cross the ice on an errand
known only to him

White Dog’s Happy

The white dog’s happy
in the cold with winter wind
roaring through the trees


In a single day
I travel so many moods
I confuse myself

Map Of Japan

a crystal map of Japan
in stream’s ice islands

1 Mockingbird

In a world of white
a lone mockingbird unsure
what to sing or how


What’s the fire thinking
that it whispers so softly
in so many tongues?

Snow Laden

Dark snow laden clouds
are seeping in through the trees,
like smoke without fire


A blizzard wider
than half this continent with
not a single thought


In a white snowfield,
a solitary oak, dark
as a lost eyebrow

White Table

On a white table
the white dog and I walk, two
tiny moving dots


Justice is longing
for simple freedom to be,
bloom without a pose


Sunrise of salmon,
flesh of pink boned with bare oaks,
leaping up the sky


Always reproachful
my mother keeps her distance
even in dark death

Wind’s Broom

The sky has gone blue
again swept clean by wind’s broom,
its mindless impulse

Midwinter Peony

Peony’s pink buds,
rockets reaching to streak white
into spring’s blue sky

Strange Coin

Loss enriches me
as it impoverishes –
how strange is life’s coin!

Four Seasons

Past salt and pepper,
my beard has gone white as snow
through all four seasons


A crown of blue veins
the first woman I saw die
wore, slumping forward

Lake Ice

As the sun brings warmth,
lake ice begins to mutter
its age old complaint


In forgetting you.
I’ve come to know you better
than I ever dreamed


A fly buzzes by
and it and I are both one
and the same, sun-struck


My dead parents now
have no place to live but me,
larger than I thought

Like Smoke

Grief’s like smoke, writes what
fire has said, then goes to hide
in far-seeing sky

Old Picture

In the old picture,
my dad stands on autumn leaves –
now he’s under them


Music and sunlight,
Sunday morning stubbornness
of the white dog’s snore


Now, subtlest stirrings
of willow, weeping cherry,
new song in the hedge

Seventeen Year

Now, I’m waiting for
seventeen year cicadas’
weird resurrection


Death’s an acquaintance
I made only after I
knew life, found I was

Pale Sky

Pale sky, paler blue,
a white moon rising in mist
at the door of night


Will I remember
how I sat at twilight, still,
remembering you?

In The Wind

Spring is in the wind,
impatient, impetuous,
as spring has to be

All New

I remember not
a thing of spring -it’s all new
as it always is

Tongue Of Flame

Just one cardinal
in a bare dun and gold bush
speaks the tongue of flame

Bull Roar

Like some god struggling
to break free, the bull roar
of spring melting ice

Complete Spine

A deer’s complete spine,
hips still attached, is off white
in the melting snow

Taste Of Green

Before the last snow
has fallen, I plant spinach,
dream the taste of green

Spring Missiles

Skunk cabbages, green
tipped, purple horned, are rising
from their dark silos


Wind, river of air
that banks on nothing, my lips
twitch to set me free


Squirrels haven’t found
two pale purple crocuses,
the first of the spring

Wisps Of Cloud

Wisps of cloud make veils
for the moon’s shining face hung
up high in an oak

Winter 2004-5

One Cardinal

I always wonder
why one cardinal does not
set the woods on fire

Tiny Drab

Such tiny drab birds
have such sweet lavish voices –
I’m non-descript, too

Last Light

Last light of the year –
pink oak trees reach for the sky –
I’m both young and old

Winter Rain

Winter rain, steady
from sky as gray as the hair
that’s left on my head

Sixtieth Year

My sixtieth year’s
around the corner, I wish
I could bend light, see

After The War

Just after the war,
I was born, who knew nothing
of its strife, horrors

Grief Rebuilding

The war became part
of me and each breath I took
was grief rebuilding

Fifty Nine

Fifty-ninth birthday,
walking in snow with white dog
under a gray bowl

Understand Me

Understand me – light
changes instant to instant
and so does seeing

Dry Snow

The dry snow has stopped,
waits for the night wind to come
to shift it, sculpt it

First Star

Quiet of the night
as snow waits for the first star
to slip through the clouds

Black Nose

White dog disappears
into whiteness of the snow,
black nose left behind

All I Say

All I say is said
in passing, some chance remarks
before night takes me


What I imagine
I am is less what I am
than my lapse from it


All of this odd life
is indecent exposure,
how sun devours me

Young Crow

What a young crow knows
it knows deeper than its bones –
genes make tool making (Nature 13 January 2005 page 121)

White Antlered

The stain of shadow
on the smooth surface of snow –
oaks, high, white antlered

Still On Snow

White dog barks the bark
she saves just for foxes, barks
and is still on snow

All Love’s Lie

A cemetery
is what I am, place of rest,
where all love’s lies sleep

Frisbee Of Ice

A frisbee of ice
has formed in dog’s water dish –
I send it flying


I’m getting older
day by day and all I know
is still not knowing

Deft Death

Deft death, Dad, unstitched
your shadow from your heels, brought
it to live with me


I’d like to escape
my own form, my only form,
flit from my own fit

As Alive

You are as alive
for me now as when you lived,
maybe less reserved

North Wind

Tips of the bare oaks
finger a powder blue sky
as the north wind blows

As Flu Flies

Oceans away ducks
are incubating our fate
as a fierce flu flies


Suddenly a swan
is what you were the first time
all those snows ago


The sun is liquid
in midwinter – I drink gold
from a snowy cup

Dead Fox

Dead fox on the path
down by the lake – reddish brown,
small, precise and still

Eleven Bluebirds

Eleven bluebirds
perched in sunshine by the lake
while ice melts, mutters

Blue Early

Blue early spring sky
makes the world a robin’s egg,
just waiting to crack


Downy woodpecker
finds such different echoes
in just one dead limb


Woods make me happy –
I have no idea how
and that’s part of it

Creekside Sycamore

Creekside sycamore –
old Iseult of the white hands’
got nothing on you


New York, where I went
fifty seven years ago
to board my first ship


Bluebird over snow
with a red blush on his chest –
spring’s not far away

Shadow Barred

White dog in fresh snow,
her face shadow barred as she
trots through bare thickets

My Fatigue

More birdsong, more light –
intimations of fatigue
under white eyebrows


I’m wondering why
why do I bother to speak,
quite unlike the pond?

Sudden Weakness

A sudden weakness
overcomes me as I start
to remember when…

This One Window

I’ve been looking out
this one window so long I
see through what I see


I am what I am,
only this, so lonely, too,
broken open – here!

Cell Phone

Rachel, in the woods
cell phone let me talk with you,
brightened the birdsong

Litowa, Tanzania

There in Litowa,
what made me so feverish
I knew I could die?

Simple Things

These things were simple
until I got to live them –
love, birth, death and hope

Spring 2005


Disaster’s the star
that burns always too brightly
in hope’s firmament

Lost Question

I’m shy of myself
and wander this paradise
like a lost question

Blue Ease

A day slips away
as pelican’s industry
contrasts with my ease

Billion Years

These beaches have sand
to make a billion years pass
through night’s narrow hips

Soldier Crab Armies

Soldier crab armies
are on the move in moonlight –
little do they know

Sting Ray

Sting ray in shallows
a melodious shuffle
this side of flounder


So many whispers
snake their ways through the domain
of what I can’t say

My Blue Eye

I’m made to be, cease
in a lost sun’s golden blink,
my blue eye, the sky

Lost Horizon

Horizon is lost,
blue into blue before black,
stars studded above


Whimsy is a dream
of exit in a blue maze
vaster than I know

Dawn Breeze

Clouds are boiling up
from the horizon – dawn breeze
ripples purple sea


This is how it is –
when I dream I am no more
my words are orphaned

Rooster Knows

Rooster knows day cracks
always a new way, each pink
and silver new found

Frayed Green Sabers

This banana tree
brandishes all its frayed green
sabers in the wind

Palm Fronds

Palm fronds glisten green
under chalk runes written on
powder sky blue board

Clouds Trekking

Clouds trekking blue sky
are an alphabet before
any alphabet


Suddenly I find
I’m looking back on my life –
a fable, too true


If I could have been
someone other than myself,
who would I have been?

Bows of Cloud

Unstrung bows of cloud
float across powder blue sky –
where’s Odysseus?

The Lost

In transparent blue
of a green day on St. John
I keep losing me

And Tang

Green turtle and tang
light filtering through the sea –


Quiet certainty
of my sometimes ownership
of myself has gone

White Cloud Sheep

Indigo ocean,
stir of green in morning breeze
white cloud sheep graze sky

Bird Of Ink

Twin circumflexes
wheel high in blue sky – frigate
is the bird of ink

Horizon Words

There, horizonwards,
I look for horizon words
to join sea, sky, me

Weathered Rock

Weathered rock speaks of
immense force and subtlety
joined over eons

Peacock Flounder

Peacock flounder is
much more delicate than silk,
then becomes a rock

Restless Wind

The wind is restless,
works its way down the coast,
unknown to minnows


I found the fossil
of an ancient dream of me –
couldn’t find myself

If I Knew

If I knew what I
was doing here, could I still
grasp sweetness of breeze?

Blue Is Blue

Catalog blue’s shades –
blue is blue, wanders away,
returns to be blue

Little Blue Tang

Little blue tang have
the foreheads of buffalo,
mass in submerged herds

Scent Of Chives

Not even this storm
can erase the scent of chives –
now is their moment

Sixtieth Spring

My sixtieth spring
and I know the score by heart
and yet each note’s new

Amber Ocean

This tea in glass cup
lets me sail amber ocean
and then swallow it


Golden daffodils
bowing their heads in the storm –
is this piety?

Old Old Friend

Tendons of his hand,
much tighter than they once were –
we shake and he shakes

Bald Eagle

Bald eagle’s white tail
floats effortlessly as bird
traverses gray lake

All These Years

After all these years
of living here with myself
I’m still a stranger

Into My Blue

Into my blue eyes
the eagle flew from blue sky
and is soaring still

White Flag

White petals migrate
on spring wind – can that white flag
cross shivering pond?


Bloodroot blooms as white
as new snow all though the woods
and it has gold pupils

Death Relishes

Death relishes spring
as much as fall or winter –
it measures each bloom

Why, Eye

Why, eye, does it seem
that the red strawberry dreams
just because it gleams?

Jess M.

Robin’s egg I see
where it was decades ago,
long before you died

Alchemy’s Truth

Each story I tell,
by reason of its telling,
has alchemy’s truth


With each shift of breeze,
cherry blossom curtain is
made more delicate


Aftermath, the growth
when hay’s been cut, how the dead
come up in my mind

What I See

What I see surrounds
what I can’t say, inkling in
extremity, this

All Year Long

I wait all year long
for the cherry to explode
into rich pink bloom

Black Limbs

Cherry’s beautiful
even in winter, black limbs
writing on white snow

Inner Emblems

When sun opens them,
red tulips show black rotors –
could they spin and lift?

Poor In Honors

I’m poor in honors,
poor probably in honor
as dandelion

New Lettuce

New lettuce is up
in fresh green dots and dashes
against the brown earth

Cold April Fog

In cold April fog
tulips fold their petals tight,
glow more intensely

Shad Tree

Blooms on the shad tree
merge with fog and so extend
themselves everywhere

What New

Jack in the pulpit
is trying to figure out
what new he can speak


These minuscule lines
try to net matter smaller
still and fresh and free

Blade Of Grass

Time that lets me live
kills me, too – I acquiesce
like a blade of grass

April And

Spring green pitches tents
throughout the woods – I’m inclined
only to idle

Far From Me

I can imagine
pathways leading far from me
I may yet travel


Twittering of birds
seems to translate the tulips
in a new language

Vast City

Old dead sycamore
is majestic in decay,
founds a vast city

Green River

Hundreds of times, more,
I’ve walked this path that flows
like a green river


Bright flags of fervor,
tulip petals now litter
the bed where they slept


What I’m waiting for
there’s no way to know, for life
like death is surprise

Rachel, 18

You are like a dream,
child glowing green as I gray,
start to flake away

Fits, Starts

My past’s invention,
fabulous ghostly brocade,
woven by fits, starts

Winter Bones

Trees are lacy green
I’m forgetting the bareness
of their winter bones

Joints Predict

I’m of the age now
when my joints predict weather –
how I love sunshine

Back Up

Dogwoods in bloom – snow’s
climbed back up the trees, trying
to regain the sky

Pilfered Lilacs

Pilfered lilacs smell
even sweeter than the ones
that I’ve grown myself


I keep worrying
although violets have not
a clue why I do

Let Logic Go

I let logic go
I ‘m free to describe what I
see, what’s free of me

Dream It

Each instant’s so full,
so fragile and gone before
I dream it a name

Wild Light

I’m lost in wild light
I’ve known since my infancy,
before words had life

For LG

The solipsist’s muse
is a bubble in trouble –
I speak me, mean you

On Maple Root

Tiger swallowtail
lights on maple root, lapped at
by a cold blue lake

Like Talons

Majestic in flight,
bald eagle threatens with calls
that are like talons

Spring Blizzard

A stand of dogwoods
by the lake’s burly shoulder
makes a spring blizzard


Suddenly – morel –
in the middle of nowhere
where I am, too – wild


Luck makes me greedy
instead of quite satisfied –
why, violet, why?

May 10, 2005

A beautiful day
is coming in the window
beckoning me out

Going On

How the world goes on
going on while in my mind
it’s just as it was

Cobra Lilly

Book, cobra lily,
teak chair, mild May afternoon –
who knows what I am?

Unseen Birds

A sleeping white dog,
pink peonies in a vase,
speech of unseen birds

Prayer Flags

The wind has eaten
two Buddhist prayer flags that
once were red and blue


afternoon ebbs into night,
as sky finds star eyes

Restless Art

This wind’s restless art
combs through the trees and through me,
never satisfied


The sad certainty
is I’m temporary like
butterfly and bee

Red Winged Blackbird

Red winged blackbird flies
straight at me, torpedo with
scarlet epaulettes

Soft Whispers

Days seem infinite
until I hear soft whispers
of my end in me

Woman In Woods

Cell phone, cigarette,
Starbucks coffee – I saw this
woman of the wood


Awkward and graceful
all at once, spooked blue heron
lifts off from the marsh

Carpenter in Tree

Wood chips are flying –
pileated woodpecker,
carpenter in tree

Pink Cherry Blossoms

Pink cherry blossoms
have now come and gone – did I
see them or dream them?


In muddy river
a great blue heron, ancient,
immobile at dawn

Spring 2004


My dead parents live
in my heart, as I in theirs
before I was born

Without Dog

Without the white dog,
whose leg is injured, I walk,
tentative orphan

Bright Peeps

Bright peeps of bird song
lift a canopy of fog –
forest floor’s greening


Year’s a quarter gone
as small turtles sun themselves
on an old gray log

Last Fire

Last fire of the year,
saying goodbye to a friend
never without cheer

Spring Snow

First azalea
had opened one yellow bloom
before the snow came


You can come as close
as you want, now that you’re gone –
there’s nothing to fear

Garbage Dump

Crows, seagulls, black, white,
both know heaven’s scent still lurks
in a garbage dump


Even when we think
we’re settled, we’re still nomads
in memory’s dunes

Spring Cleaning

At 3AM we hear
mice stirring in the walls – can
it be spring cleaning?

Robin And Squirrel

Robin and squirrel
meet in a flowering plum,
then each one takes flight

Bloom And Blush

Now’s season of bloom
and blush, colors delicate
before summer heat

At Anchor

The weeping cherry’s
pink petals ride at anchor
on drooping branches

Two Lips

Forever, never
are the two lips together
that pronounce, kiss “now”

Least Monotony

Over and over,
spring happens, untroubled by
least monotony


Ash is soft, soothing
to worn hands, as if, transformed,
lost trees still sheltered

Softness Of Sleep

The softness of sleep
conceals the cunning of dream,
elegant as fox

Up, Up

Mourning dove twitters
up, up and away – I stay
behind in thought’s shade


Geese on still water
commune with their reflections
even as I do


On the forest floor,
tiniest white eyes are open,
stare up at blue sky

Shad Tree

The shad tree flowers
schools of snowflakes racing to
climb back up the sky


My head aches with grief
and something else I can’t name,
what it is to be

Tiny Day

The sky is as blue
as a cap of robin’s egg
that holds tiny day


A person planted
in memory makes blossoms
pink as a cherry’s

Morning Walk

Morning walk takes me
through many decades in bloom
all at once this spring

Yellow Swallowtails

Yellow swallowtails –
spring morning surprise after
last night’s thunderstorms


Purple trilium
is blooming, royal color
on the forest floor


On this cloudy day
the question mark cat is slow
until she pounces


Teak chair in the woods
is empty since I ‘m not there –
or could it be I am?


The death of a friend
is coming – I’m as prepared
as I’ll ever be


I talk with myself,
not excessively impressed
with what I’m hearing

Rain With Salt

Tears are rain with salt
and they wash the deep canyons
of hurt – sting, sing, soothe

Before Cicadas

Before cicadas,
the lilies of the valley
bloom in still white bells


I’m an illusion,
a stitch in a tapestry
that lasts an instant

Puffs Of Wind

When I’m gone, I hope
that you’ll find something once me
in these puffs of wind

Deepest Memory

Smell of you haunts me
as sometimes it comes from me,
deepest memory

In Flower

Under elms I grew,
moved later to oaks, these now
in flower with me

Old Pink Dogwood

The old pink dogwood
is dying and still in bloom –
dogwood to the last

Each Second

Each second holds more
than I dare assimilate –
minute’s infinite


Explosion from earth
is programmed in cicadas,
then light, music, mate

Old Tow Mule

Like an old tow mule,
I’m hauling the past forward
into the future

Jacob’s Ladder

How white are the blooms,
the rungs of Jacob’s ladder
the bees are climbing

Smell Of Chives

After lawn mowing –
scent of chives spreading upwards
through April twilight

Love Poem

Can a love poem
be as short as this – of course,
since our lives are, too


The peony buds
are dilated now, so white
can be seen – bloom soon

Hands Off

Death and life just can’t
keep their hands off each other,
mingle in the wind


My babble’s fluent
held by what banks I don’t know,
nor where lies the sea

Snowing Cherry

Breezy afternoon
snowing cherry petals in
the old still courtyard

From Eden

A breeze from Eden
touches my cheek at twilight
and goes on its way

Snow Mountain

That snow mountain
is the tree peony burst
into lavish bloom

Cobra Lily

The cobra lily
has a throat of gold flame
hidden in the shade


Of scraps of myself,
I make a notebook, which then
starts to sing and dance

Heron In Mist

That great blue heron’s
a note of dusk’s saxophone
suspended in mist

Marvel Of Mourning

Marvel of mourning –
how it enriches green leaves –
lives, breaths in the grass


Morel, dark cortex
crenulated on white stem,
beautiful as brain

Gold Peonies

Lions who open
their eyes lazily to see –
those gold peonies

White Mist

This morning’s white mist
reminds me of my mother
who has disappeared

You (For Joan, May 9, 2004)

Ordinary day,
this one both golden and green
is rooted in you

Oak Flowers

White dog’s fluffy tail
is full of long oak flowers,
so her wag’s golden

Legs Loaded

Legs loaded with gold,
bumblebee’s a treasure ship
in white peony

Time’s Everything

Time’s everything
and all around, illusion
of all illusions


Night is falling on
this perfumed day of mid-May,
swift ripening spring

Air Is

Ordinary air’s
unimaginably free –
it can simply be


In a white blizzard
an inchworm drops on my neck
from the wild cherry

Green God

The green god lives now
in each and every tree,
stirs with the least breeze

Nothing (Cambridge, May, 2004)

Nothing has happened
but life since I left these streets
forty years ago

Brood X

Brood X cicadas
are starting to get it on,
high electric hum

Each Leaf

Each leaf is a dish
aimed at the sun, receiving
on the life channel

Single Center

No single center
imagines how small or great
its own circle is

Fading Light

Evening’s fading light,
melancholy remembrance,

Steel Band

Cicadas throbbing
like a steel band of the air
after the rainstorm

Sixth Sense

My mortality
is a sixth sense that defies
both beauty and truth


These false strawberries
are true rubies glowing now
in the grass I mow

White As Stars

As white as stars,
tiny clovers lift their heads
from a sky of green


Beneath cicadas’
racket, May rhododendrons
bloom pink and serene


A doe, listening
like me to the insistent
din of cicadas

Onion Domes

Chives make a city
of graceful onion domes on
slender green towers

Red – Eyed Cicadas

Red eyed cicadas,
ruby false strawberries mixed
in emerald lawn

When Print Fights

I’m moved when print fights
to get free of the page, run
the huge risk of life

Two Suomos

Grief and I wrestle
like two Suomos only I’m
the one always thrown


In the dust of books,
where you hid from life, I track
you now that you’re gone


Cicadas’ red eyes
are like sparks that have become
an insect’s headlights

Tent Of Light

Morning’s tent of light
is pitched beneath a sky
blue as any sea

First Birds

The first birds calling
slashes of color on night
before sun’s first light

Blood Tinged

Mourning doves cooing –
white heads of clover on green –
dawn sky tinged with blood

Dun Does

Dun does are dancers
leaping through these spring pine woods,
showing snow white tails

Tethered Butterflies

Tethered butterflies,
lilies adore the hot sun
near summer solstice

White Horse

Dream brings my father,
ancient, cantering a horse
that’s as white as now

Cat Mint

The cat’s in the mint,
then rolling on her black back,

How Deep

No easy mission,
to survive simply, to feel
how deep the wounds go

Real Arrows

It’s a paradox
that when words relax, they come
taut, launch real arrows

Spring Rain

A sudden spring rain
soaks the white dog and me, too –
we both look sheepish

Darting Dragonfly

Darting dragonfly,
threadless needle sewing air,
the fabric of light

Half Afraid

Thunder scared the dog,
so she looked up at me, saw
I was half afraid

These Lures

Father, you’ve vanished,
no trace left behind, except
for these lines, these lures


Cicadas – many
compared to us, yet so few
matched with molecules

Summer 2006


Stupor in the west,
chill fog in San Francisco,
inside and outside

San Francisco Bay

San Francisco bay
as blue as ever, blue as
I remember me


this mushroom here before me
lemon lion’s mane


I tumble in dream
like clothes in washing machine,
wake wet with wonder


The goldfinch that flies
is not the same bird that lights
on my mind’s thistle..

Dark Line

Distant pelicans,
dark line on sea sullen blue –
I’m part of them, too

Ink Against Cloud

Pelicans are first
calligraphy on the bay,
then ink against cloud

Drake’s Beach

My bare foot touches
at Drake’s beach Pacific fringe –
cold is sudden, sweet

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas blooming pink
in salt flecked breeze – how little
it takes to find joy


In cliffs of Drake’s beach
I see myriad faces,
sand, rust, maybe me

Old Drake

I’m like old Drake, too
I touch and then must let go,
sail my own ocean

Taste Of Ocean

A taste of ocean
lets me be less and be free
as spray in the wind

Two Cormorants

Two cormorants dive
in unison, kin of ink
hunting in the murk

Voice Of Nothing

I’m voice of nothing –
miraculous – it forms sounds –
returns to silence

Lady Bug

One lady bug, orange,
in pocked well-traveled driftwood –
when did she hop on?


Ninety-four years old
dwindling she’s a sparrow
who hops off, takes flight


White clover is back,
the snows of yesteryear, here,
sweetened for summer

Hot And Humid

It’s hot and humid,
weather magnolia’s loved
since the beginning


How much is leisure
the opposite of work, how
much work all its own?


Summer’s in full swing,
long shortening days, the noose
around its neck, loose


An embargo stills
my tongue – what’s so precious, moon.
that I can’t say it?.

Bloom On Bloom

Milkweed’s sweet rotten
smell draws swallowtails to light,
bloom on dusky blooms

Like A Sun

One orange nasturtium
a fierce sun in the fragrant
purple lavender

White Snapdragons

Dragons with cloud jaws
fastened to green stems, tranquil
as twilight deepens

Thick Scent

Thick scent of milkweed
just before the thunderstorm –
bees stay hard at work

Inaccurate Slant

Inaccurate slant
of my small mind on all things –
every clown’s a king

To Be Lost

Each day is a maze,
mind is the seeker of threads,
the thing to be lost


Monarch flew an orange
stuttering helix up through
apple tree to blue


Kaleidoscope, me,
yesterdays, tomorrows, now,
one stained teeming glass

Moon Alone

The lightning bugs have
done their work, leaving the moon
alone with the dark

Evaristo Medina

The gourd fish that’s signed
“Evaristo Medina”
swims decades with me


I’m making my way
through another year even
as my way makes me

Never Before

Morning breeze in oaks –
I’ve watched this a thousand times
and never before

Looking For Words

I’m looking for words,
phantom flashing fireflies
in my mind’s evening

Becoming Rose

Oak leaf hydrangea
has blushed a becoming rose
on pale green petals

Old Sorrow

On a sweet morning
an old sorrow’s present new
and I’m helpless still

Green Momentum

Summer glides its course
charged with vast green momentum,
no way to look back


Mastery’s awkward,
as is mystery, secret
the young can not know

Twilight Bird Calls

Bird calls at twilight,
a summery summary
of what can’t be known

Sticky Weather

In sticky weather,
stargazer lilies perfume
the entire garden

Huge Gold

Under the rumble
of afternoon thunder –
huge gold sunflowers


Summerscent of rot
comes faintly up off the land –
white clover’s still sweet

Aging Mind

In my aging mind –
yesterday and tomorrow –
hopefully confused


I’m irrelevant,
becalmed in being’s shallows –
or are these the deeps?

Just Waking Up

Tomorrow’s a dream
and so, too, is yesterday –
I’m just waking up


Mushroom’s a missile
launched from underground that can’t
quite break free of earth

Walking Junkyard

Don’t know what’s in me
let alone how it got there –
I’m walking junkyard

Lebanon, 2006

Murder never helps
drive the terror farther off,
but makes it a home


Jagged canyon walls
intrude between the seconds –
somewhere a river

Leaving Part

Death is the drama
whose leading part, leaving part
each one comes to play


Wasp in blooming thyme,
black and full of menace as
a helicopter


Tall stargazer stem
is a lance carrying pink
fierce fragrant peaceheads


A beige Port Clyde rock
with eggshell white equator –
a world in my hand


My daughter brought me
a hat from Australia –
she’s gone beyond me

Bare Feet

My bare feet find smiles
in the moist cool morning grass –
how can I resist?

Dead Mouse

Dead mouse in the grass
and gray cat matter-of-fact
asleep in the shade


Something delicate
is the source of all my strength,
something less than me


I snip surroundings
to hazard guesses of what
might be inside me

Beside The Point

I’m beside the point –
I can’t reach out and touch it –
it’s shy as I am


The white dog and I
find on the floor the comfort
of the pack we lack

Or What?

I’ve nothing to say,
yet I hunger to be heard –
irony or what?

Almost Cool

Evening’s almost cool
as the day’s fierce heat retreats –
mind changes its clothes

Fine Fierce

Heat brings cicadas
up to a fine fierce frenzy
which calms, collects me

Terraced Garden

A terraced garden,
many years in the making
like a single glance

Old Screen Porch

The old screen porch holds
white dog and me as the rain
pours out of white sky

Sieve And Sand

I’m the one I was,
also the ones I wasn’t –
I’m sieve and sand both

Placid Rabbit

Placid brown rabbit
munches clover the color
of his cottontail

Fox’s Bark

Fox’s distressed bark,
bright beyond the reach of brass,
flame leaping from dark


I travel remaining
still within myself, watching
myself come and go


Samoyed, white dog,
Shira, song and poetry,
four paws on my trail


Summer’s first monarch –
once there were thousands and more –
orange in morning breeze

Pale Fingers

Morning’s pale fingers
fondle the moist of meadows
pat the grazing deer

In The Drizzle

The fireflies flicker
eagerly in the drizzle
after twilight storm

Mint’s Delirium

Mint’s delirium
floats on the staggering heat –
gray cat sleeps in it

Dream River

Beside dream river
Dad and I hiked so many
green and speechless miles

No Secrets

Happiness – a guest
who comes unannounced and claims
to have no secrets


Mosquitoes surround
the gray cat – they’re frustrated
by her thick smooth fur

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts come from pines,
but everywhere is pining
that’s the fruit of love

Living Frontier

I’m living frontier,
an edgy intermingling
of what’s found and flight

Qana, July 2006

I’m diving the past
to grasp the present wreckage –
all the dead children

Turn Away

I would turn away,
but what I flee follows me –
I’m in Lebanon

Noon Heat

Deep purple basil
is soaking up summer sun –
noon heat is intense

Twin Beauties

The beauty of peace
and the beauty of combat
are always at war

Sixty Years In Peace

Sixty years in peace
I have lived now and struggled –
immense good fortune


What is this sorrow,
but the conductor’s baton
marking time’s music?

Bull’s Eyes

Bull’s eyes scattered through
these green woods – tiny spiders
fish soft summer air

No Remorse

I feel no remorse
when I crash a spider’s web –
expect none from quake

Still Brown Rabbit

Cabbage butterfly
buzzes the still brown rabbit
in the white clover

Immense Slaughter

The immense slaughter
that is the wealth of nature –
why should I escape?

Lost Books

Yellow swallowtails
ripped from lost books of the sun
flit afternoon dreams

Just The Same

Sixty years old now
and just the same as I was
in my second year

Without A Map

I keep slipping away –
where I go I just don’t know –
man without a map

Mouse Guts

Gray cat left mouse guts
on the porch – I think of war
in lands close and far

What Tailor

What tailor cuts hope
to make it suit what can be –
how does he measure?

Late Summer’s Whimsy

Late summer’s whimsy –
fertility’s foolishness –
tomatoes on the ground

Morning And

Sunday morning and
quiet and the lift of light
up through breeze stirred oaks

Forests Of Feeling

I wander forests
of feeling, try to ask fox
what he knows for sure

Almost Home

My life’s an exile
in country that’s almost home,
borders never still

Words Change

Words change as I speak
so I don’t know what I’ve said,
what I meant to say

Tiny Packets

Fabulous tangle
of cerebrum where light lives
in tiny packets

Wild Grapes

Wild blue-purple grapes
are almost all skin and seed,
a long way from wine


My right ankle aches –
the years have given me gout –
I still love to walk

Bright Red Seeds

Jack in the Pulpit
is loaded with bright red seeds,
trying to make more

Goldfinch And

Up into the green –
goldfinch and two cardinals –
color in the breeze

Still Riding

Along that dead log,
new crop of Dryads’ saddles –
so they’re still riding

Can It Be

What’s most obvious
most intrigues me – can it be
that I really am?

Soap Bubble

I keep throwing spears
at the soap bubble of self
but it never bursts

August Tomatoes

August tomatoes
each big as an asteroid
each bite red delight

Don’t Ask

Is there more to love
than hope and need conspiring?
Don’t ask an old man…

Prison Prism

Everywhere I’ve been,
I’ve been only in myself –
my prison prism

Green Chestnut

Single green chestnut
spiny as a sea urchin
hides a brown planet

A Story

I am a story
blended of, descended from
millions of stories

Settled Middle

My hopes deceive me,
as do my despairs – how rare
the settled middle


Building sandcastles
by this sea – tides carry off
hope and memory

Like Phosphorus

Wild white clematis
burns like phosphorus in rain
that just won’t let up


Despair’s the bushel
whose dark conceals the tiny
intense light of hope

One Week

One week of rain now
and it feels like forever
just as the drought did

Broken And Whole

My heart is broken
and whole as I watch the rain,
think of those I’ve lost

Mist I’m Made Of

Into emptiness
I keep looking – where did mist
I’m made of begin?

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