Entangled as I am

Sixty years ago
in the Sierra (mountain
sawed from mountain) I

loved naming grasses,
distinguishing this from that
sun-bleached golden blade.

Light ran through them all.
Lately reading Julian
I’ve learned knowing God

is easier than
knowing myself, entangled
as I am in grass.

It Happened Again

Stepping out the front
door this morning — it was cool —
for the first time I

heard a mourning dove.
That omnidirectional
repetitive pre-

sence. Again after
two years, thousands of miles be-
tween, space-time collapsed.

That bird’s pellucid
sound held my attention with
nothing between us.

Chatter of Sparrows


At this age I’d be
sitting on a sea-wall face-
ing the wave’s spit.

Instead the inter-
state’s roar is my horizon —
that “screech of beliefs”

(Merton) between me
and every other thing. But
sometimes a silence

interrupts and fills
with a chatter of sparrows
that overflow it.

When Poppies Bloomed

Mother had good taste,
very fair skin, war-tested
love for us. And hats.

She’d spread a picnic
when the poppies bloomed a short
spell in the desert.

And she made the best
of it: deviled eggs, iced-tea,
tiny sandwiches.

All round us poppies
overachieved, red and gold,
while mother hovered.

Millenial Cafe

I’m reading Horace
at the Millenial Cafe.
Clean-shaven amongst

two-day beards and
Spartan girls. Monotones, squeals.
How they seize the day!

“Futurity is
infinite” (Mitchie’s II2).
They come in, go out,

through the door with them
cold views of oil-slick potholes
crushed by SUVs.

The New Well

Today the trees thrash
in the thick Spring sunshine, light
both subject and med-

ium. On soft sum-
mer nights my dad would take me
to see a new well.

The heavens above
it were blank of stars, the noise
and glare enormous.

Oil rules the world. Big
oil broke him. Wars, rumors of wars.
Out of the void, light.