Monday, June 22, 2009

Two more dreams (it wasn’t real, but I did live it)

I said tomorrow is going to be my lazy day
but my dream knows better
comes at me with mops buckets...

Although it hasn’t rained in months
no matter how often I repair the roof
water continues to drip from the ceiling...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Art Project

every Sunday, the priest
climbs into his plane
secretly sprinkles
holy water from the windows
he wants to bless the city

Whiff of Cologne

(we could see the cathedral in the distance
but construction barred the way)

five remember the city not only for its fine cathedral
but the actions of one old man

who, seeing our out-of-town license plate, led us
past detours through construction zones
directly to the underground garage
stopped to point us to a parking stall
and drove on

Thursday, June 18, 2009

(before it becomes entrenched)

not yet sure of its position
everything the child touches, sways

the teacup with the tiniest flowers
lost its handle on the floor

they drank from broken teacups

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ney Springs

no one needs to prune these trees, arrange these rocks

this is not a park
uncorrected lies the glade

(there is nothing to be done here and there is everything)


let the rocks be hot and the water glacier cold
the logs span the rock piles
dead sticks remain in the trees

let the bumblebees swing
back and forth like pendulums
unaffected by my breathing

let the birds be silent or insist

exposed roots hang, curtain-like
side pools reflect the shadows
fallen leaves float flat
let the water striders stop and start
over colorfast stones
on a clear ceiling

let the dark moss soften and envelop
stone wall and hillside

the spiders continue to wire the canyon, the sun
glide on their filaments

let the sulfur spring continue
to overflow its bucket-round concrete pool

let the plywood covering the larger pool
continue to warp and splinter
the concrete steps detach from the hillside
the fine, almost dainty debris
accumulate on the path

the rock, appearing
continue to work its way out of the ground
blue and white stippled, the color of old enameling

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

impress (1)

carved black marble
the light just so
bronze cherubs in the vaulting
floating between them
the Polish crown

I remember this place
or another exactly like it
another dark tomb

left-over mysteries (2)

a medieval street and
a funerary chapel
in a cathedral deep in Poland

twice I returned
in wonderment

what deep well
of memory
connects us?

Monday, June 15, 2009

imaginary conversation after stopping at convenience stores, the length of California

Studying English?
Yes, I’m going to visit the States
Really? What part?
Oh, that won’t do you any good there...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Belinda encaustic notes

memorable colors, textures
filling in the squares of an orderly life
partially or completely, or with overflow
out to the edges of the painting,
honey running down the sides

(a few are filled in half-way
to a rupture
cascades of wax solidifying over
a bottom-heavy canvas)

(some thick and gloppy, slowly clotting)
(others, liquid, faster, shoot out the top like a geyser)
try to be consistent in your admirations
which muscles do you use to be true?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

at Box Canyon

the dam in massive silence
among the interactive trees


happening upon
a statue in the wilderness
begin to pray
to the best in both worlds

Friday, June 12, 2009

at Eileen's

beautiful the room
the carvings intricate
costly the chandeliers
no matter. Once you sit
down with the others, there you are

eyes pulled outside to the trees,
the hills, hoping for a distant raft of clouds
to hurry on this way, bring wind

at Mary's

take off your shoes—
contact with the same ground
the teacher walks on

listen to no one’s poetry
who will not reveal their toes

Thursday, June 11, 2009

she's getting old too

purpose-driven life?
not for this cat
asleep upside down among towhees and sparrows
pecking at seeds on the new seeded lawn

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


her poor dishonored body
she tries to think, plead, order it into place...

(the brain, in its capsule
aspiring to become commander
of the whole darn rocket)

(the body, with its own will and intelligence
regards the brain as an add-on
latecomer, would-be usurper)

...which finally responds, expands
into the true position

Monday, June 8, 2009

it’s a long way through Nevada

simplify, simplify, says the landscape
mountains in their stony essence
blank valleys
repeat, repeat
driving through an endless
mid-day still life


she must have decided that
to have a clean house
cleaning is too high a price
to pay

Saturday, June 6, 2009

importance of words

the cat stares, round-eyed
when I look up, she heads towards the door
now that’s just plain English

the dog projects his wish
directly to my hand
that last little piece of meat
won’t you lean it down to me?
it does

the black man did it! (another false accusation in the news)

If there’s any crime to be done, I’ll do it
That way it will be easy to tell who’s responsible

Friday, June 5, 2009

noisy news (from the neighborhood)

the mockingbird
and the jackhammer
in duet

police helicopter
in circles over the house

new neighbor
at the top of her lungs

Amtrak sultry-soft, two tone
reminds me
you can get out of here

Thursday, June 4, 2009

words about Anne

her paintings are modest, hold back
reveal themselves slowly, over time
as your eyes adjust to their tranquil light

in folds and niches she concealed them:
silks of countries changed forever
bits of wheat fields
laces of streams and, I happen to know,
a mountain, entire

the fabric of her life is woven
into grass and soil
beneath the placid horses
lazing or grazing in the surface sun

and did you notice
the Sandhill cranes just arriving
or have they just left

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

progressing through the age brackets

the controls loosened
sounds began to escape her lips
she learned the strength of her emotions
surprised at her surprise

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I stop for gardens

pausing before a house
a patrol car happens by
watching me
case the spinach

Monday, June 1, 2009

wind today

jerking the tethered wires

the orange plastic ribbon caught on the fence
waves like a hand

and beyond, rising and falling
great lungs of the eucalyptus

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Weather reports

forks of lightning, withdrawn
darts of rain
a huge glory over the water
light shining out of a sun-cave


clouds with their bottoms intact, firm, dark
stepping stones to the mountain
where they fray with rain


grey day
the sun sets in a gold commotion in the west

Thursday, May 28, 2009


she tried for years
to straighten him out
nowadays she contents herself
ironing creases into his jeans

bird spit

by a single bird
high on the wires
with inordinate aim
she felt herself selected

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


oh boy
said the old man who had just stubbed his toe on a tree root
this is really going to hurt

Sunday, May 24, 2009

90 degree turn

she stands outside the door
pulling on a cigarette
with that left-behind look--

society has moved on

Saturday, May 23, 2009

news from the other world, visited nightly

what a night
kitten in the water
the wallet, the blood test, the game abandoned in the middle
an avatar of the children—
from those parts of them that lie unused--
and in the morning, like handles
the words

Friday, May 22, 2009

holding the pose

by a thought-quake

Thursday, May 21, 2009

view from the hotel

swaying towards us
headlights in air
our windows part the stream

hoards of metal
arriving birds
reach for the ground with rubber claws

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

walking toward the darkness

at 75 she asked herself
while looking at her breasts
aren't you tired of having these?
cataract surgery? no thanks
my eyes fading to the details
as they should
after the old man died
his wife still gardened for years
"I'll just mess around a little longer
then I'm coming too"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

acting as if--
aiming for the door right beside heaven...

Monday, May 11, 2009

inner smiles all day because of what a dream whispered

the beloved departed---
sometimes they’re still available to us in our dreams
for long rides down the interstate, for instance
in a bakery truck...
tired of her illness
she stepped into the glass-walled garden
plucked a leaf, and ate the healing herb
the children chorused
they wanted me to be their teacher, but
a big man sat down beside me
and muscled me out of my dream

Sunday, May 10, 2009


the hesitant child gained fluency
by not correcting herself

(even the awkward are able to achieve
a level of competence over time)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

after the break

Once the devil goes home
and God withdraws His face into the clouds
and you are left with yourself, alone,
whom do you trust?

Not yourself.
Hug tight the bottle, pills rattling as you walk

morning city

A fast morning walk
adds swing to the day

The people are mostly in their houses,
(their cars, their businesses, their schools)
Out here it’s just me and the birds
a few stray gardeners
or old walkers
we greet like friends

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I imagine the rain eating
clattering utensils against the eaves
forking at the slopes above roads

scaping off with a butterknife
a thin film from naked mountain tops
a few more pebbles spooned away
from the mountain's slow life