Splash

Did I throw it back
as I remember? The slap
of the waves under

the pier, the Southern
California sun gouging
the ocean, the vast

empty vacation.
Put that immanent whole back
into the open

whole of life, the splash
of that little fish back in-
to its flowing world.

At the Limit

A lone gull, perhaps
off-course, inland, under gray
skies, makes thought happen

as it disappears.
It’s the narrative that counts.
End or beginning,

an opening for
the other is created
at the limit of

my vision. What’s love
got to do with it? You might
say everything.

Happy Distinctions

Thomas Aquinas
was, you know, fat. His fame rests
not on that but on

subtle distinctions:
Evil is wanting something
trivial too much,

happiness wanting
it only a little bit.
The beauty of such

distinctions makes me
forget Thomas Aquinas
was famously fat.

Time Makes Tourists of Us All

Exasperation!
Watching the weir, green Avon
slipping by. A pint

lasts only so long.
Then I too must go. Time makes
tourists of us all.

Foam at the bottom.
Citizen of the world, be-
hold your nothingness.

There are Places

I’d leave the hotel
early, the Nazionale
fresh in Autumn sun.

The piazza where
I’d read and write in the sound
of tumbling waters.

And above timber-
line in the high Sierra,
I’d nap in tawny,

unnameable, soft
grasses. Mother Earth, City
Eternal, say it–

sacred!– places where
far from home I’ve forgotten
heaven is not home.

The Desecrations

High summer, low tide,
the estuarial pond
out to sea. I see

the desecrations.
Plastic bottles, beer cans, a
bicycle. All shine

in blistering sun.
“God is there in the instance
of death” (a Christian

friend). These things don’t die.
They don’t add up to the whole.
The tide comes and goes.

In the Dark

Lacrimae rerum
reduced to the memory
of my first love’s eyes

shining in the dark.
How separate guilt from the
image of beauty?

50-60 years
have passed, her gaze holds me in
thrall today as I

write a little song.
Those eyes follow me through dark
to creative dark.