Time for Pimm’s

The first warm Sunday
of the year: time for Pimm’s cup.
Our tyrant abroad

is selling arms to
other tyrants. Time for Pimm’s cup.
The air grows heavy

with jasmine. Listen
to the bees. Tyrants make deals,
deals wars; time for Pimm’s

in honor of the
secret love necessity
renews even so.

Time’s Refinements

Chiao Jan, whom
I do revere as poet,
stopped writing poems

for Enlightenment’s
sake. But no mind transcends it-
self. Take Providence:

not “I told you so”
but “I could not see how good
could come from that bad.”

Not geometry
but time’s refinements compel
belief in the end.


Some poems cut so
deep into the flesh of thought
the letters themselves —

the open, closed shapes —
contribute to the meaning.
The choral effect

can be sublime, break-
ing through the copyist’s bore-
dom like an angel.

Entangled as I am

Sixty years ago
in the Sierra (mountain
sawed from mountain) I

loved naming grasses,
distinguishing this from that
sun-bleached golden blade.

Light ran through them all.
Lately reading Julian
I’ve learned knowing God

is easier than
knowing myself, entangled
as I am in grass.

It Happened Again

Stepping out the front
door this morning — it was cool —
for the first time I

heard a mourning dove.
That omnidirectional
repetitive pre-

sence. Again after
two years, thousands of miles be-
tween, space-time collapsed.

That bird’s pellucid
sound held my attention with
nothing between us.

Chatter of Sparrows


At this age I’d be
sitting on a sea-wall face-
ing the wave’s spit.

Instead the inter-
state’s roar is my horizon —
that “screech of beliefs”

(Merton) between me
and every other thing. But
sometimes a silence

interrupts and fills
with a chatter of sparrows
that overflow it.