Unbearable

I mention in pas-
ing one can lose every-
thing—-house, car, wife—-and

Self won’t cry uncle.
It tries to get it all back.
It tries and tries, poor

thing. It should give up.
The true value of things shows
when Self is absent.

The pen I have learned
not to lean on shimmers with
a certain finesse.

Behold

Add rain to any
view and you get an excuse
for noticing things.

The greenness of grass.
The hush of bicycle tires.
There’s more to being,

apparently, when
it rains. Behold the sacred
chiaroscuro.

Golden Gate

You can see things from
the Berkeley Hills between the
eucalyptus trees.

Milosz noticed the
tyranny of the dollar.
How stunning the sun-

set on the Golden
Gate. He went on translating
those Luminous Things.

Remembering Dad

Father’s Day. The tea-
room overflowing with fathers
and children. Festive,

happy-seeming. My
own: happiest gardening.
Azalea, Iris,

his artificial
fountain. His silence broken
by the water’s fall.

Featherweight

You separate now.
The poem is acting like
Hildegard’s feather;

you’ve been to nowhere
and back. Your feet bother you;
you dread running in-

to your old girl friend—-
her knowing smile stops you cold.
She’s no metaphor.

It is like nothing,
this thing that will outlast you,
your body, your loves.

At the Very Edge

Bare feet on the rug,
empty hands spread on my knees,
bony butt, bony

head floating as one,
I find the middle of night.
I easily breathe

pious little tags—-
bright dark, not-other, distinct
indistinctness—- that

fill the emptiness.
Words but what companions
at the very edge.

The Philosophy Bird

The philosophy
bird is a night bird. It sings
louder than others

from summer’s garden.
It startles me when I o-
pen the window for

fresh air. A blast of
song. Marvel of being and
intimate strangeness.