Her Cap with Gold Lettering

Things can outlast grief.
The cap she wore when we went
down to the river

came to hand today.
I wore it on my rounds. It
says Sandford Shipyard,

WA. Alive it said
she loved boats and men who built
them. And their poets.

The Piscataqua
still runs fast and cold, her cap
will outlive us both.

Vaguement Enthousiaste

Under high bright clouds
across the water loose sails
are being cinched tight.

A man of words, I.
When the wind rises Poussin’s
clouds stir Jaccottet.

Issa’s great haiku
about clouds is anchored by
a minuscule skiff.

The Girl on the Lawn

I turn the corner
to where you can sit and look
at the bay. Hardly

a soul. The virus
keeps us at home. The sun shines.
One girl, blonde hair in

her face, sits cross-legged,
cradling a school notebook; her
head casts a shadow.

I am old. The girl’s
brilliant concentration
makes me want to sing.

This last stanza came to be when Geraldine Clarkson said she really liked an earlier ending and liked this version. Here’s the one it can replace:

What community
gives way on the grass as she
is given to be?

Making All Things Equal—Zhuangzi

Where I usually sit
a man smoking, cigarette
cupped in his dark hand.

I look where he looks,
down to the water: mother
and baby, sunning.

I stand by. Wind off
the water, which draws us here,
makes my eyes water.


On my walk today
the goose on the lawn looked at
me then looked away.

It blazed in the Spring
sunshine, as strong as the clouds
above the water.

I felt honored. I
stood there letting it sink in,
with nothing to say.

Why record this? I
felt like a fool standing there,
but a peaceful one.

At the breakwater

In a painting by
Poussin, the eye must ramble.
Near and far spaces

open and close. I
never see what today I
saw: the artist’s hand.

A box of pastels
just beyond the tide, she leaned
over her work, her

hands, covered with chalk,
accomplishing more than came
to her quick young mind.

My Poussin: I. At the Cove

Watching the swans feed
in the cove, I overheard
a couple walking

by. They had just met
and were about to part. Things
had been great—-not one complaint.

The swans had not moved.
Sunlight dimpled the water.
Voices, gentle, kind,

faded. The couple
walked on. The wind in the trees
sighed. I sat awhile,

thinking. “The flower
is the mind, the seed is per-
formance.” Who said that?