The floors have cooled in

this old wooden house. My feet

love going barefoot.

I pile fresh blankets

on the bed and look forward

to turning in soon.

With age the good life

is subtly erotic. Si-

lence expresses love.

Love unifies and

compacts, I’m told, and my dreams

show me that and more.


The light on the cove

today was the cove, coming and

going, shedding light.

I stood in the same

spot today but the light had

rinsed it through and through.

I didn’t feel the

same until the green of a

duck flashed in the cove.


From a pier on the

Pacific as a child I’d

throw my catch back. Rad-

ical suffereng —

Ravensbruck and so on and

on—I’d face later.

Buson on Winter—

crows are black, herons white— is

a cold cold poem.


”A living metaphor has the power to stun us into surprise and open our receptivity to unexpected otherness.” Desmond, G&B 123

Tumbleweeds blowing

across the dusty schoolyard.

The Fall was coming.

But the stars at night—

they too were my companions.

The seasons a blur.

In time I moved a-

way. Now I watch shining swans

gather in the Bay,

preparing to go.

They flap their huge wings, half-

rising, falling back.

I see gods in them,

ecstatic originals

of all our passing.


Why am I dancing

to the blues on the radi-

o? Tonight of all

nights? They still say the

war on terror; prosecute

the war on terror.

Words justify words.

And so I dance to the blues

tonight, dance to words

that move my artless

feet to the music. The blues

will teach us to dance.


”There is more than comimg to nothing. What then is the resurrected astonishment? Is it not the ’yes’ to being as other that always did and always will pass beyond us but that, just in its passage, intimates itself as good?” Desmond G & B 121

The end of a day

in which I finished nothing.

I take out the trash—

the least I can do.

I clean up around the bins.

The tin lids are cold.

I sneeze. Buson wrote

a great haiku when he sneezed

and knew Fall had come.

Now crickets louder,

Eros, Thanatos—Greek to

me. Jeweled, urgent.


A plump clementine

from the convenience store.

It sits on a book.

I’ll have it for tea

when the sun goes down over

the Bay, carefully

pull apart its flesh,

luminous and wet, each part

like a whole poem.


”We want to walk so we need friction. Back to the rough ground.” Wittgenstein

It’s Fall. Public Works

has torn up the sidewalk I

had made into Way.

Yellow ribbons, holes,

sawhorses where daffodils

flourished all summer.

Jackhammers pounding

concrete into dust. I stum-

ble on haiku bits.

Life is tough, the Way

is not. Myopic, lame, I’m

back on the rough ground.


Deathless chatter of

poets, interrupting each

other, left open

on the desk. That time

of day, cicada chorus.

I walk through it and

down to the silence

of the Bay, the feeding swans

fewer day by day.


”We seem at home within a whole, and the whole seems our home. And yet we must ask: Is there a God beyond the whole?” God and the Between, 54.

I do a double

take, doubting my eyes. It’s blue-

gray, a tough-looking

heron wading there.

Fast forward into the dark.

Death is quite normal,

we must not resent

it. The heron’s eye sees through

me, a visitor.