The White Moth

A pure white moth zig-
zags above the parking lot
this hot afternoon.

It’s hard not to look.
Something about its wayward
passage, that it is

at all – a mere ob-
ject, fellow creature, sign – all
as it disappears.

Love in the Berkeley Hills

We woke still in love,
the wall behind our bed layered
with ice. A few streets

away, on Grizzly
Peak, Milosz, great poet of
guilt and grace, unknown

to me at the time.
And his friends, later my friends –
Arthur and Leonard.

Spring came, the Golden
Gate red at sunset, Eros
holding friends at bay.

Once in a grove of
Eucalyptus, we spoke and
I knew Agape.

Now in their absence,
we pick up where we broke off,
talking and laughing.

Prospect Park, Providence

In one of my job-
less interludes, Providence
rebuilt itself. It

showed its river off,
raised highrises between us
and the green beyond.

Emptiness has mixed
uses. I watch with others
from Prospect Park. From

now on the use that
has no use is my study
as the dust rises.


It happened once. Stars
snapped at me, a child, bare feet
tingled by the grass.

A single blow, like
an old-fashioned camera
flash: did it record

me, as other, or
as now seems, communicate
“Please leave us alone.”


Discredited is
it, the phrase “our fallen world”?
Well, yes, if only

it’s we who did it.
Islands disappear. Bottle
caps lacerate the

guts of petrels. God’s
images or nature’s, we
have put paid to them.

So yes the world is
ours. We’ve remade the abyss
after our image.

With My Copy of “Horace in English”

This Father’s Day I
hear his voice in Francis Howe’s
pitch-perfect Horace

from a foxed Penguin.
“Spare not erasion”! Right-wing
and dreamy, Dad wrote

graceful English, but
his politics betrayed it.
Style is double edged.

The yellowing page
and brittle glue of this book
will amuse my son.

My Summer Job

Fit work for young men.
I spent my summers pruning
rich women’s gardens.

I’d stand up to stretch
from thinning out the ivy
and the whole bed glowed.

Fit work for young men.
Long hot empty afternoons,
the sun’s companion.