Coronavirus IV

The sun came out, I
left the house—-a walk would show

who’s who. I got lost.
Other elderly people
smile as we pass, and

I finally ask
one sweet old lady. She smiles.
The sun fresh on her

is out of Dante,
who knew something about plagues,
and pride, and so forth.

Novel Coronavirus III

I walk freely through
the soft rain, elderly and
vulnerable to

How that rolls off the tongue! I
speak to no one, touch

no one. I listen
to the rain in the trees and
in gutters falling

from roofs and roadsides,
echo the flow of deepest
being, my own in-

cluded. Death walks with
me. As long as we can walk
in the rain, we’re fine.

Novel Coronavirus II

It’s official: stay
indoors. I wander down to
the docks, the neat boats

covered by canvas,
white in the ripening sun.
The tide laps the pier.

Colorful water-
views rise from the village. I
had forgotten how

beauty changes all
it touches. Generous to
a fault, the release.

The Novel Coronavirus

The sound of traffic
on a misty Spring morning
is an ocean sound,

then we remember
the coronavirus. We
each wake to a self

that tastes familiar
until we remember the

The Poet said we
must love one another or
die, then took it back.


There was an Eros
in the counting of species
above timberline

for a gentile boy
Kaddish in the midst of all.
Now I count the first

original, as One—-
and count the rest as seconds,
other, more than that.

The boy-now-man knows
himself among the counted
ones and still counting.

One Two THREE four: Play!
The beat goes on in the heart
mindful of dying.


You will know the place
by the shrill wind and cold rain.
You will lean into

it like the hero
of your childhood picture books.
It may become calm

or not depending
on the quality of the
desire that drives you.

You arrive home to
hungry cats, and, naming each,
think, these too are gods.


We’d gather at lunch
in the shade of schoolyard trees
and talk poetry.

Some of us wrote it,
or tried. Some are still at it.
At night, City Lights

across the bay. Dark
the years between but verses
depend on freedom.