First Day of Summer, 2008

The season has changed
but I remain just the same,
riddled by inklings


Now’s geography
I am always exploring,
yet can make no map

A Long Time

To live a long time,
to outlive so many selves,
to have been a crowd


A black cat slinks by –
not our own resurrected –
but for an instant…


Not so long ago
yesterday was tomorrow –
this is prophecy


Bluebird flashes by,
concentration of the sky
crossing this black creek

At White Lily

Just about high noon
hummingbird refueling
at the white lily


Firefly in my hand
a single glow and then gone –
how alike we are

Hot Muggy

This hot muggy day
the white dog lolls in the stream –
why should she come out?


After thunderstorms,
two goldfinches in the oak –
doubloons in mid-air


Wave is, then is not,
crashing in lace on the shore –
I’m the same fabric


Insouciant snow,
morning glories in summer
as the day’s heat builds


I recognize, my childhood
plays softly inside


The heat of summer
changes how all reds are red,
how yellow yellows

Fact Losing

I go most often
on fact losing missions, not on
the fact finding ones

That I Am

This fact that I am
or is it a fiction I
can’t find my way through?


On stilts of sunlight
morning rises up through oaks
to grasp blue of sky

A Cloud

The blue of my eyes
suggests an internal sky
where I am a cloud


A huge golden bee
in tiny pink blooming thyme –
this scent stops me, too


Bull frogs are twanging
this hot close summer morning
after two murders

July 6, 2008

Last of the blackcaps,
the very first blackberry
fifteen feet apart

White Veins

Delicate white veins –
brown magnolia petal –
beauty in ruin


Lose track of myself?
all the time – can’t get the scent
to track myself down


A tiny bird flies
by my ear so I feel wind
as small as it is


Plush of summer grass,
bare feet, half moon overhead,
syncopated bats


A dream shifts my mood
to melancholy – I sleep
inside my sorrow

Wet Heat

Wet heat weighs me down
I move in a summer daze –
chaste new moon thrills me

Pieces Of Sun

Swift slices of sun,
tiger swallowtails sail high
in summer green oaks


I’m shy, if I speak
it’s to get to know myself,
almost someone else


Green praying mantis
more Giacometti than


The old oak’s elbows
are awkward in all weathers –
ah, their inky grace!

No Good

The breeze in the trees
stirs them for no good reason –
just the way I think


As the heat eases
and the evening brings breezes
I can think again

On The March

Summer luxury
morning sound of cicadas
squash blooms on the march


Breeze stirs each green leaf
as it combs through the garden
in search of nothing


Old man on the beach
where I was young – two of me
stare at foaming waves


Back to Bahia
which possessed me, so became
a myth in my mind

White Ringed

Down the black creek’s spine
kingfisher with white ringed neck –
urgent his errand

Small Boy

A little boy’s eyes
remind me that the white dog
is a miracle


Chipmunk in brown suit
up on a gray teak armchair,


After long green time,
the pepper has become flame,
fire for fire eaters


Tiny shy daisies,
beside the thyme, unblinking
all through their short lives


Longing for the rain
is longing for a lover
who will bring life back

Next To

Somewhere is always
next to nowhere, the town with
secret citizens

Sullen Skies

To live or to die –
I’m doing both, all at once
under sullen skies


How to say goodbye
to the sun and to myself,
to the moon and me?

In Glide

Over the river
a great blue heron in glide
silent as the moon


Monarch on milkweed,
two swallowtails on thistle,
bee in tall daisy

Oak’s Foot

Gray question mark cat
disappears into the oak
at whose foot she sleeps

James.O’Conor. August 9, 2008

Monarch butterfly,
second of the year, flies by –
memorial glide?

Black Wasps

Black wasps in the mint
have driven the sweet bees out –
unequal contest


Enter history
as a leaf tumbling to ground
to become the ground


Summer’s lush riot
that predicts rot and ruin –
beauty bares its teeth

First Scarlet

This first scarlet leaf,
drop of blood promising more,
time the deepest wound

So Rich

This hundred armed oak,
proud green against a blue sky,
so rich in acorns


Back from Bahia,
the thunder of candomble
ringing in my ears


Sudden as lightning
I’m an old man – the thunder
crashes in my heart


Am I just a bug
caught in the bottle that’s me –
I’m green, small and lost


However I sing,
I’m off-key – so locked out of
paradise of song

Far Short

I’ve fallen far short
of who I mistook for me –
curse and blessing, both

Question Mark

Gray question mark cat
fast asleep on pink cushion –
why do you move me?


Towering thistle
is butterfly cathedral
with soft pink blossoms


Sorrow comes with me
into this summer sunshine –
I am my own shade
Here, Gone

Hummingbird – here, gone –
moist green morning’s not the same –
I’m here and gone, too


Snow white clematis
in late summer cascades down
the massive old oak

Prospecting Eye

Goldfinch at twilight,
a sudden surprising swoop,
thrills prospecting eye


Rhapsody in dust
is the gray question mark cat,
flopping and rolling

Rio, September 8, 2008

To change continents,
exchange last breaths of summer
for winter’s last breaths

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