One Note

In the night he played the organ of sorrows

whose vast pipes spanned continents

and whose music was time, the sea

in which he swam and dissolved

to become a wail sounding the deep

where beginning and end are one note


You – Point Reyes, April 2015

This April we have brought you along with us

hiking these headlands you never knew


you have been with us each step of the way,

sometimes light, sometimes heavy, sometimes


a dance of variegated shapes in the fog’s sheen,

sometimes transparent, sometimes a suggestion;


you have been here and you have been not here,

both at once, so I have tried with each footfall


to reconcile the two, failing as I knew I would

the wildflowers are out celebrating the first spring


after you and so many tule elk have gone

to join you in this great drought and beauty


is everywhere all around including the black hawks

that dot the fog and also my joy in each breath


we’ll walk some more, then more and then no more,

but, while we walk, we’ll bring, sing you with us

All At Once

The cat

licks her paw


to a Beethoven

piano sonata


then lowers her cheek

and goes to sleep


I sit and wrestle

with my strangeness


I am and am not

all at once


and the piano

keeps on playing

An Undeclared Mystic

Strange anything at all exists.


What is, is!


Profound tautology,

but I can’t find a curtain to pull

to let me see behind “is”


Wittgenstein snorts like an impatient horse,


“Haven’t you ever heard of getting snared in a language game?”


This is the form fashionable in the West

of what in Indo-Persian lore once was called a “tilism” *

a magical landscape that can pass for real and hold you

for a very long time, even your whole life.


A substantial part of the beam of my attention,

is always held in wonder that a pen can be, that I am,

that a green shirt can be, that light and robins can be…


I’m dazed by what other people take for granted.


I’m a child or a fool or both mixed up together.


The wonder of water and palm trees and the blue of sky


And dark and stars and the ever unrolling scroll of dreams.


I admit it: I’ve been lost all my life and this

is where I’ve lived and this is who I’ve been


An undeclared mystic




*See the “Adventures of Amir Hamza”

Bare Bones

too much to read,

much too much to read


I watch the leaves

falling from the trees


like words from the pages

of books the sun has written


I, too, am a book

that the sun has written


winter will be soon

and white and cold


I’ve lost track of what

I once may have known


I’m like that oak

becoming naked


I’ve lost track of most

of my questions


they’ve fallen from me

like leaves from a tree


I keep on reading

my way beyond me


I am the bare bones

of who I once was

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