Monday, March 31, 2008

even in darkest woods

in the gloomy spaces
between tree trunks
flakes of light, hovering
here a slanting light shaft, broken
there a twig tip
triumphantly illuminated

to predict

carsick, wedged in among travel bags and crates
peering from underneath canvas flaps on the truck (illegal)
on the way to the harbor and the SS Seven Seas
but not unhappy to be leaving
next school year they were going to teach us English
and I was sure I wouldn’t be able to learn

Sunday, March 30, 2008

musical city

bring your flute, piano, organ, orchestra
play the pigeon notes
crowding the staff
of electrical wires over Fruitvale Avenue
to the motors, flapping tires, to the sirens
add your pigeon music

Saturday, March 29, 2008


a photograph is barely a reminder
the sun does not touch your face
you and the river are not breathingthe same air
and you’ll never know
what the photographer left out

whether she stepped in from silence
and miles of valley or the sound
of a leaf blower from the million dollar
house up on the hill

wood smoke, incense of a cedar?
or smell of sewage, rotten apples
fishermen stabbing the river with their poles

Friday, March 28, 2008

the way it works, dear

someone made him
get up and go to work
and now he rides
at the head of a long blast
the ladder of the tracks
up into the mountains
laid by others
who were made

Thursday, March 27, 2008

political comment

yellow ribbons plastered on the backs of our cars
didn’t help

In a fog

the sun, wherever it can penetrate
lights up the inside of the fog

drive past a glory in a scrap of fog
the Douglas firs diagonally striped
in alternating fog and light

another scrap of fog, another glory

one glory after another!

gray hill shrouded in forgotten sun

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

in case we should forget

guest comes into the house, unasked
rattles walls and windows
as a reminder
just beneath the even streets
lives Kobe’s brother, Katrina’s sister


Have you ever noticed
The mid-air of evening
Somehow abrasive, pink like a rash

Blue-smoky air gathers
Over the mountains

Hills and long ridges bleach out
Become indistinct, gray
Settle themselves into silence

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


a shiver, a shudder
a rent in the air

one thing about earthquakes
they’re never there when you need them

Monday, March 24, 2008

fowl news

I know a chicken when I hear one
someone in the city has laid an egg
young roosters practicing their crowing,
gradually becoming proficient
the after-Easter silence

Friday, March 14, 2008

the way these sharpening hills shed rocks, shed paths, shed roads

I used to know
had you asked me I would have predicted
Goodwill, Meaning Well

now, if there are clouds, I like to drive a long way under them
I see rain in the distance and drive forward not knowing

and when children ask me, whatever I answer is true and not true

what I own

The things of this life move through us
We pick them up, carry them for a while

Inanimate, eternal things
The iron in blood for instance
Belonging temporarily to a temporary being

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I guess they thought it would be too easy
On some they placed a greater weight
Spine in a curve, fist of anger, pierced heart

too intense, the yellow

plastic ruffle, formal frill
every year the daffodil

doesn’t he/she understand
here, in California
we’re more laid back?

(Her doctor was of the opinion
that she had brought her anxiety attacks
to the wrong state)


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

weight loss

for 19 dollars, she dreams
she buys a chocolate heart for herself
then wonders who to give it to
she cannot eat it

losing weight from lack of cookies

the body relinquishes its stores slowly
holds on to its pounds as long as it can
(sie krallen sich fest)

I could flap these clothes and fly
an audible thought runs through the forest

no one need clap for the wind
a great performer

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

briefly noted

certain birds I love
certain cries I cannot get enough

summer morning bird
with a wheezy little whistle

the tulip has twisted round in its vase
for a view out the window

rows of tulips with wide-open teacups
over the fences, ropes of roses

Sunday, March 9, 2008

ailanthus altissima

earliest spring, young tree of heaven
juvenile, gawky

harvest of breakage

drooping, dripping cream confection
in a swarm of bees

if not for its easy-going ways
some towns would have no trees at all


I'm smiling today. Recognition this morning for my little poems in the form of an Award (!) from farmlady, who tends a colorful, creative blog (photos, poems, thoughtful writing) at (definitely worth a long visit!). Thank you, farmlady. You made my day.

from the balcony

sinking down on us softly
the galactic light

someone estimated
2.6 million suns
and not enough to read by

Thursday, March 6, 2008

a walk in town

springtime the landscape
reveals its colors

my cheery good morning
met with silence
once, and again

first white iris
with stuck-out tongues

red-hot tulips
with center black hearts

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

almost missing spring

in the other world (side-by-side suns)
the flowers, quietly in their places
they are blooming for each other
I am going to repair that break