Tuesday, April 29, 2008

home sale dream

in her pastel living room, accented with fur
pick up any ornament,
squirrel, skunk or baby bear
and it is an animal, sitting still in its skin

stripes, tails, ears
among the houseplants, performing as d├ęcor
she is tired of them now

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nye springs

listen carefully, he said
a rhythm has to beat somewhere in the music
but the water

overflows the pool and falls
divided overflows the stone
clearly in small arcs
falls white in foam


Sometimes, and at the same time, an alongside child
is born from the first child’s left-over attributes
(It is always sleepy)
You don’t have to feed it, nor enroll it in school—
It’s an extra-curricular child.

proposal (for an art project?)

Take a truck carrying pipes
and fit them with reeds
Drive the highways, fluting

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


drove home from the station after midnight, happening upon
a pickup, haphazardly parked on the hill
and two young men ecstatic over their discovery—
below them, on a siding, bright and hot on the back of the train
the Olympic flame

being pulled unannounced, unknown through towns
on a special car, constructed to carry fire
blazing just for them, their personal flame

Monday, April 7, 2008

saw some cedar waxwings yesterday which reminded me

cedar waxwings
on the invisible staircases
between the pyracanthas and the oaks

masked popping berries
in the pyracantha's flames

shrill cries from the oak trees
necks craning, cheering the robbery
till the fire is extinguished

wing-storming past the house
a hard knock on the pane--
this one will not fly again

Thursday, April 3, 2008

unlike the artist

nature never gets tiredpainting centers in her flowers
that’s not all she does, that’s not all
the details continue
to the microscope’s highest magnification

(nature presented each flower with an I
to paint its own center in)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

jornaleros at the corner

passing all that standing and looking
it’s late
shading of eyes, craning of necks
kicking of curbs
passing all that hoping


The man in the wheelchair looks
over at the woman with the crippled hands
"How can she stand to live like this?"

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

all hens are redheads

the scrub jay by the garden gate
knows a bird when he sees one
lets the chicken walk right up to him
though all she's got left from molting
is one tail feather, behind

the chicken, red decorations on her face
her feet always dirty, from where she's been scratching

yesterday's me

A previous self cannot be trusted.
Otherwise, why am I revising these words?

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 Overgoodground.blogspot.com (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