Now in Portland

The clover in the
grass takes the rain in stride, flat-
tened for now, ready

to spring back; the sun
has no intention to stay
away forever.

Who stays forever
anywhere? I’m’here now, wear
hoodies, skinny jeans —

ridiculous at
my age, standing in the rain,
watching the clover.

Ubi Sunt

Where is that raven
she whose white shoulders I would
not seize for better

or worse long ago?
This damp cold day, images
of Bath, Berkeley, Rome

in winter, where lean
desire and memory’s flesh
made a mess of me,

suggest themselves, but
for now I’ll accept as pledge
mist turning to rain.

Thinking with Julian of Norwich

If writing, as we
like to say, is a journey,
it’s also unfin-

ishable. Above
the mountain shines the first star.
At our feet a stream

of snow melt gurgles.
My memory is a blank
after that. If that

star really does shine,
the stream sing through the colder
dark, then all is well.

The Umbrella

Rainy Saturday.
The trees full of rain let it
go into the wind.

Her sudden laughter
as her umbrella knocks it
loose from the branches.

I’m blessed to hear that.
Aphrodite, thanks for this
subtle reminder.


It’s hot. The crows drift
from tree to shining tree in
unbroken silence.

My disused CV
would not explain what brought me
here to this window.

Berkeley, Princeton, Bos-
ton, Providence. I enjoyed
them all. Now I write,

imitate the crows,
their lofty vulgarity,
their stark silences.

Love is for Others

In my dream of her
we were all tangled in sheets,
shuddering as one.

I went back to sleep,
having looked out the window
above my bed where

trees thrashed in the rain.
In dreams or reality,
love is for others.

Either way the god
dispenses the blessings of
mortal otherness.

Capital Words

It’s a big country.
Away at the Capitol,
news-breaks break often,

live-streamed — which is good;
people need to be informed.
All the important

words — news, inform, scan-
dal — are capital words. Take
scandal (Gk: stumblng

block.) A sparrow song,
woven in silence, live-streamed
from the hedge, makes me

stumble: Scandal of
being! Sweet perfection inform-
ing me in itself.