The more precious

in the dewy boxwood, song,

nothing to speak of,

sparrow all alone,

when you flit off you’re too quick

for the following

eye.  The ear remains

open but it avails not.

Praise is in order.




A whiff of garlic

from the mud in the gutter

communicates hope.

The body tenses

for Spring. Goodbye gnostic double,

other, body bag,

(thank you Charles Wright).

This old skin breathes the language

of the human nose.

A Gift to Go With

As the paths soften,

lime-green through the fog, I

second-guess myself–

no bottom to that.

Oh yes, bottomless bottom,

nothing to push off

from, something to let

be, a beginning of ends,

a gift to go with.

Just One of Those Things

Sam Hamill, who knows,

apropos of Basho’s old

pond says some poems

open as they end.

I think about that walking,

waking up, going

to bed.  Maybe life

itself’s ‘open/shut/open’–

just one of those things.



At a Loss

January fog,

the touch of the sun burning

through, an opening

about to close. I

have read the mystics on love.

It is just like that.

We imitate it

at our peril, we poets,

at a loss for words.

Li Po’s Finesse

Perfectly alone,

Li Po communicates the

old mountain’s presence,

with the finesse of

a martyr honors the pre-

sence of the mountain.


is the mountain’s thing. Li Po

is aware of that,

barely finishing

the poem before hearing

the unasked question.

The Question

Steady rain loosens

ice from the road. Cars pass.

I head into blur,

which I prefer to

the new tyrant’s clarity.

My youth given to

books, how is it I

have nothing to say beyond

the names of the flow.

When a Bad Poem

When a bad poem

opens its mouth, nor salt nor

sweet nor jism nor

any scent comes out,

only the absence of be-

ing in the soul

of the poet. Sad.

This is personal perhaps.

We’re not all Villon,

have not the patience

of being.  Mortal fear has

spooked love’s ecstasy.


Of Bird and Girl

Secret schoolyard flame,

tall blonde broad-shouldered Shelly.

Her name was the name

I chose for my pet

peregrine.  Analogy

of girl and bird right

as rain in desert

Bakersfield, a boy’s eros

all flame and flight.


%d bloggers like this: