Sunday, January 19, 2014


"I've been here 40 years,
never had to water the garden in January.
Things are gonna get really weird."

have the rain maidens all gone?

here i was thinking they preferred the damp
warmth of these winter valleys,
but some huge oaf of a pressure system
out on the Pacific
has sent them scurrying east

their hearts have tasted the sweet of cold
and snow, and now who knows
when the rivers will be high enough
for the salmon to lay their crimson roe

everyone is confused, not used
to all this low sunlight in January
and the cold the open sky affords;

i concluded the scrub jay
was screaming solely because he could see his breath
while doings so, having never seen this before;

the cherries and magnolias are opening their blossoms
but there is hardly anyone to kiss them;

personally i think the varied thrushes
are enjoying the drought,
they give breathy whistles all day
and seem to knock the laurel nuts
into the pond with a fervency,
some sort of animagical ritual
to stave off the clouds?

me? i'm just dreaming often
of puddles full of maple leaves
and the remembrance of being drenched
underneath the redwood tree all night
thinking how well a wet-night in the duff
can cure a heart that breaks itself


often my vision is coordinated
to the directional geometry of trees

i spend hours just determining
which douglas fir is most accurately
pointing at the moon

and then the oak,
who (like me) clearly gets her best
thinking done in the twilight;
i am coming to believe she has a
particular affinity for Jupiter
whom she tosses and tangles
in her limbs and leaves
until just past midnight
when she rests

and it was a full ten minutes staring
before i realized the careful swaying in the morning sun
and that all the needles and leaves shivered
sparingly, as if to make best use of this delicate wind

dry winter; its fruits

there are two pale wasps
above my door

they have me bow
as i come and go


o how i long to fall
into the graceful curves
of the earth that are seen sometimes
by eagles on high thermals
and traveling businessmen
and young girls who look out,
whom have always dreamed
of being birds


there it was;
a perfectly quiet meadow

and then two crows
on the quiet wind
calling loudly into it



up and over, Great Valley,
Yosemite in snow,
     the White Desert,
rust and copper mesas
and on to
     Cordilleran ridge bone
     --mountains, valleys,
        mountains valleys

all of it surfaced
with snow
that pales the earth

an illimitable whiteness;

the only color that
passes into silence


in an effort to counteract
the effects of a busy sleepless city
in southern Florida
i slept on the hotel room floor
with my head pointing due North

and in the shades-drawn darkness
i dreamt of the peaceful company
of old friends
and the sublime
mystery of love

epilogue to "Mother of Stone" (november)

i should have guessed it would be
the levity of clouds; the high ones

and certain tones of darkness
in the weightless morning

Mother of Stone (october)

have i come to the hands
of the Mother of Stone?


              granite smoothing
              in a rivers calm

              the stoned bedlam
              of a bedrock soul

how i danced
wildly once,
ecstatic and alone!

              now,  whole occurrences of my mind
              have slowed and even stopped
              like flowing magma
              resting into form

i'm not sure its science
but i get the feeling
that certain lichens would thrive
on the dormancy of my soul

                not that a stone
                is uninspired or not glad
                but should the mind of a man
                slow to such hardness?

the days are igneous,
and maintain a directionlessness
of geological precision

dreams more metamorphic
but offering no more pattern
than a maze of mountains

                   reduced by a river

                   abandoned like a boulder
                   in a terminal moraine

o Stone Mother
whose slow stone eyes
arrest my soul

you are beautiful
but let me go