Friday, February 29, 2008

gardening words

sprouting cotyledons
then little leaves

every now and then
one blooms
into a small poem
I would revisit

front yard poems and backyard poems
meeting each other on the steps

snapshot of a volcano

a great quiet
a waiting held closer to the light
an upheaval's monument
in the company of clouds

the geese

working to repairthe fence from winter damage
alerted by their cries, we look up

high over the house
and below the clouds
long shimmering skeins of birds
sweeping Northlike a great wing

Saturday, February 23, 2008

travel day

why this great gathering
jubilant high circling
and abrupt departure
draining the area of vultures

where they are going
we can’t follow
meet and pass arriving clouds
soaring swiftly toward the north
along the bird highway

Friday, February 22, 2008

upon first reading the Denver Quarterly

the universe filtered
through the kaleidoscopic eyes of flies

a theoretical hog-calling contest
no one believing in hogs any more

this poetry could not be described as cozy

nothing adheres to these bones

they had warned me
poetry is not for everyone
I found myself hurrying, as past a graffitied wall

ah, poets, how can you write such things?
don't you fly at night in your dreams?

invective out of the way,
now let's reread and enjoy

after the storm

the interstate spreads its din
to the far walls of the canyon
but the river can't hear it
riding her high horse through town
foam flecks flying


life as a gift of consciousness
in the wash of matter we’re intimately related to
belong to, the earth the rock, the stars

only marginally differentiated we walk
half in, half out of stones

the words he used did not translate

his other personality came out when he
used the other language


splashes in a pool from a skipped stone
concentric rings around distinctions
united in the water

assigning syllables
words in air or on paper that blows
ink sounds, air vowels, hoots and consonants
feather light, heavy in our ears

Friday, February 15, 2008

train notes

the light brightens
contours of the land take shape
the mountains laid out with their heights and tables
then day leaps in with its particulars
the rusty cans, the abandoned cars
no one is going to pick them up
they have become part of the landscape
and there! four pronghorn

Thursday, February 14, 2008


moment of heightened consciousness--
sting of the unconscious mosquito

negative space

(Californians the brave and free to dump anywhere
any accessible place, bike trails, end of roads, beside the tracks
land of milk, honey, and dumped tires
mattresses, couch pillows, refrigerators, TV’s)

a passing house disgorged its contents in the woods
just a minor distraction
not even noticed by the enormous air

(we don’t have to clean up anything
nature will, when she gets around to it)

Monday, February 11, 2008

school lineup

through the chutes and gates
to a winning and a losing life

the same authorities that cut the grass
will remove the mounds of litter

paint over the graffiti
replace the broken fixtures
repair the mailboxes and signs

turning point

In my pointed hat and cape
I leap at the animals, the wolf
and the bear fall over backward
in stunned surprise
What fun! then someone
yells "Look out"

Monday, February 4, 2008

before the black painting

black is the direction the light is flowing
I'm standing in the wind of its arrows
the room revolves in its vortex, slowly


living in this snapshot of geologic time
we might ask, "how will it be with us
when the castle crags are worn down to stubs?"

and take our answer dancing
a thin bridge of words
stretched over eternity

look down from the overpass

unbounded by fences or freeways
following the ancestral trails, the deer
with rocking backs, the angled spoons of their ears

predatory traffic takes a few
does not eat them
their splendid bodies lying in the road

catch a neutrino underground

5 million high energy solar neutrinos pass through, probing
every square centimeter of our body every second,
a very fast snow of messages,invasion without forces,
encountering no resistance

our atoms stand aside, make room--
as if we were not intelligible to our probing sun--
empty space into which a dream expanded

suppose life is the education of matter

life-long learners?
learn something new every day?
full vessels
stuffed with knowledge
we are returned to the ground