As Pale Pink

Before its blooming
milkweed blushes as pale pink
as the shyest dawn


Father, each boulder
is your monument for me,
you, who loved the earth

First Yellow Orange

The first yellow orange
squash blossom was just open
early this morning

What Music?

What music do they,
white cabbage butterflies, hear
dancing in the air?


Rapturous, the scent
of milkweed crosses sunlit
clearing in morning

Content In Mint

Cabbage butterflies
are content in mint as breeze
ruffles the dapple

Not To Be Resolved

Knowledge is freedom
and tyranny both, riddle
not to be resolved

As Grass

As grass holds the ground,
I try to grasp a bit, hold
as I go to seed

Power’s So Hungry

Power’s so hungry,
it tries to devour pity
which sticks in its craw


Brown as chocolate,
this magnolia blossom
after three white days

Golden Bee

Sky of powder blue
and the green day is immense
with a golden bee

Cloud Pagodas

Cloud pagodas float
in the soft blue summer sky –
cloud colored dog sleeps

Robins Arguing

Robins arguing
as first fireflies flicker
and sky is pale blue

No Fire

No fire can burn love
to gray whispering ashes,
nor make it forget


In afternoon heat
tiger lilies are napping
along the roadside

Indigo Bunting

Indigo bunting –
I had lost not just the name
but also that shade


I’m dreaming seven
different languages at once –
and I understand


After the rainstorm
milkweed resumes broadcasting
ecstatic odor


I’d speak with the gnarl
of tongues buried deep in wood,
their thrust out of sight

Two Infections

A cold has me and
I can’t let go of myself –
that’s two infections

Circumstance Serpent

Circumstance serpent
winds around me while I’m not
looking – then squeezes


I miss my parents,
missed them while they were alive –
different flavors

Old Oak

That old oak has been
half dead for a decade now –
how life clings to it


I watch lightning bugs,
prospector crazed with delight
by a dark river

Green Of Summer

On green of summer
the white dog is a snow patch
that moves but won’t melt


Here in the graveyard
no one but stones and silence –
butterflies play tag

Making Them Up

My parents – I can’t tell
where remembering stops and
making them up starts

Slab Of What

Sometimes I feel I’m
a slab of what I don’t know,
a very strange rock


Early summer cool
and lightning bugs flickering
gold adagio


Geese, ducks, herons, deer –
figures in this morning’s fog
and white dog and I


Grasses bend their heads –
palominos in a field
in early July

Blue-Gray Boulder

Morning sun and grief,
how that blue-gray boulder sits,
persists in itself

Brown Bouquets

The cicadas pruned
the tips of small oak branches
so left brown bouquets

Ever Said

I knew more of you
than you ever said, maybe
more, Dad, than you knew


My whole life I’ve loved
thunder, as if it could say
what’s stuck in my throat


The sky is cotton,
yesterday’s forgotten,
tomorrow’s a dream

Sleight Of Mind

Sleight of mind fools
me over and over, but I
can’t tell myself why

Sudan, 2004

Grief for mango trees
of Darfur – this is murder
of the deepest green


What am I thinking?
I’d get as straight an answer
if I asked a stone.


I’m a homebody
who’s not at home even when
I’m right here at home

Deep Inside

Home is deep inside
where all that I’ve lost still lives,
interrogates dream

Even Near Sixty

Even near sixty,
I lose track of myself when
I look at the stars


Each trip’s infinite
I never know where I go
or if I’ll come back

Pink Tongue

The white dog is named
song or poem, as you like,
but her tongue is pink

Enchanted Snow

Enchanted snow flakes –
white cabbage butterflies swirl
over woods’ green floor


A tiny beige frog,
the size of my fingernail,
hops – a clay hiccup

Stargazer Lilies

Stargazer lilies
are perfumed towers under
the moon’s quiet eye

What Tunes

The wind doesn’t know
itself what tunes it will find
to play in oak woods

For The Living

The quiet of death
is only for the living
who make all the noise

Cosi Fan Tutti, Variation, 7-11-2004

So we all do and
so we are all undone and
so embrace the earth


Heavy and sullen
summer’s at its peak – white mold
on the green squash leaves

First Squash

I picked the first squash,
yellow saucer full of seeds
and no aliens

Statue of Liberty

From Battery Park
the Statue of Liberty
is the size I am

Monkey Island

Myself a monkey,
Manhattan, largest monkey
island ever built


All these people – real
and hallucinatory,
bedded in dream’s depths

Worm Kisses

My parents are both
decomposing, father, first –
are worm kisses sweet?


I can’t imagine
the hurtling roaring subway,
just ride it and sway


Artichoke – thistle
whose heart’s a delicacy,
soft, tasty center


Cool muggy morning –
a woodpecker makes his point
over and over

My Blood

While it’s biting me
I smash a mosquito, smear
my own bright red blood


My sense of humor –
so full of bile it threatens
to choke on itself


Father, you were not
a secret, and so took me
past the bounds of shame

Rainy Season

A rainy season –
yet here is a hummingbird
by a red flower


I laugh at myself
as rain pours down in torrents
and I lick at it


I’m dreaming my way
to the end of my tether,
how I become new

August 1

Hasta blooming white
make an august innocence
against sea of green

West Coast 2004

Over Utah 4 August

Sky over Utah –
green irrigation dots pressed
against lean mountains


Buson in cement
on the Embarcadero –
stiff breeze off the Bay


Green container ship
silhouetted in front of
stone still Alcatraz


The older I get
the more I know I’m a hulk
in which others rest

Little I Am

How little I am –
how more and more I become
less and less and less


Like tufts of cotton
fog perches atop Golden
Gate’s ruddy towers


Shape of my substance
was yours before mine, mother –
and now you are gone

Ill And Cure

No way to give life
without also giving death,
ill and cure in one


As time steals freshness
memories of memories
are what’s left of me


The thrill of that note
of this black bull bellowing,
making sure I know


Whisper of water
in irrigation ditches
moving through the green


dapple of banana and
coffee interspersed


Harmless happiness
of inhabited instant,
slick twist of now this

Immortals, August 9

Do the immortals
come her to sit on soft clouds
of pink wildflowers?

Lightning Fire

Smoke comes from the north –
lightning’s set another fire
haze changes all hues

White Afternoon

From Yosemite
smoke over the Sawtooth Ridge
turns afternoon white

Dead Sea Otter, August 20

A dead sea otter
still swimming on his back, cast
in Morro Beach sand

Live Sea Otter

A live sea otter
swimming in afternoon swells,
pleased, playful, pleasing

SF August 21

Rose scent in salt air
San Francisco in August –
and the nasturtiums

Boat of Reads, August 22

In my boat of reads
I’ve floated through countless worlds
that could never be

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