Donna, Donna

Universal, may-
be, particular for sure.
To me at that age

music — Joan Baez,
“Donna, Don”– that luminous
missing syllable.

Otherwise a prig,
a grammatical Nazi,
a bookish loner.

Music saved me from
myself. All these years later,
that refrain again.

You Little Lear

Wind and rain: you can’t
beat the combination if
you have a day off.

Not having money
helps, knowing nobody helps,
and being old helps.

The touch of rain on
your face, the bracing push
of the wind — opened

as you are by this
elemental intimate
love, you little Lear.

Tributary

As a child I’d hunt
sharks’ teeth in a dry creek bed.
Cottonwoods made shade

the whole afternoon.
That was local history–
sea unimagined,

unimaginable.
Time stopped in time. Memory,
writes Hill, finds substance

in itself. I know
touching one, feeling its edges,
surprises me still.

Suburban Sublime

Deep in the suburbs,
no landscape to speak of, none
not landscaped to death.
A seam in the twi-
lit folds of clouds bright between
interrupts the dawn.
I see it change as
I stop and just look. Birds fly
up and into it
and disappear. Sub-
lime perhaps; the pen is raised,
the paper still blank.

Busker

A young musician
on the street, hat at her feet,
playing her heart out,

repeating one song.
The returns are transparent
to how sweet it is

as something sacred
stirs in that sacrifice where
the quotidians

of art spell the din
of traffic and the faint thump
of coins in her hat.

Cloud Confession

Religion: clouds
and their shadows as they move
over the foothills
and my own shadow.
A mere child. Patriotic
otherwise at home.
Earth but not this earth.
In good time I would leave there.
So yes cloud-country.