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

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

Monday, December 17, 2007

morning concert

Chirps, tinks, gratings
din of the egg-escaped
little faces that come to a point

their aliveness, my joy, taken together
“domesticating” an animal must have been actually pretty simple. You took their child and raised it as your own, as though you had its best interests at heart...
I don’t read novels any more
the stories always end
what the words have decided

Saturday, December 1, 2007

reason for writing #259

writing for my twin
who sits beside me in the other seat