California Hills In August
I can imagine someone who found
these fields unbearable, who climbed
the hillside in the heat, cursing the dust,
cracking the brittle weeds underfoot,... more »
Do Not Expect
Do not expect that if your book falls open
to a certain page, that any phrase
you read will make a difference today,
or that the voices you might overhear... more »
Emigre In Autumn
Walking down the garden path
From the house you do not own,
Once again you think of how
Cool the autumns were at home.... more »
Guide To The Other Gallery
This is the hall of broken limbs
Where splintered marble athletes lie
Beside the arms of cherubim.
Nothing is ever thrown away.... more »
Now you hear what the house has to say.
Pipes clanking, water running in the dark,
the mortgaged walls shifting in discomfort,
and voices mounting in an endless drone... more »
This is a litany of lost things,
a canon of possessions dispossessed,
a photograph, an old address, a key.
It is a list of words to memorize... more »
Money is a kind of poetry.
- Wallace Stevens
Money, the long green,... more »
After the death of our son
Neither the sorrows of afternoon, waiting in the silent house,
Nor the night no sleep relieves, when memory... more »
Planting A Sequoia
All afternoon my brothers and I have worked in the orchard,
Digging this hole, laying you into it, carefully packing the soil.
Rain blackened the horizon, but cold winds kept it over the Pacific,
And the sky above us stayed the dull gray... more »
Echo of the clocktower, footstep
in the alleyway, sweep
of the wind sifting the leaves.... more »
Give me a landscape made of obstacles,
of steep hills and jutting glacial rock,
where the low-running streams are quick to flood
the grassy fields and bottomlands.... more »
We stood on the rented patio
While the party went on inside.
You knew the groom from college.
I was a friend of the bride.... more »
Sunday Night In Santa Rosa
The carnival is over. The high tents,
the palaces of light, are folded flat
and trucked away. A three-time loser yanks
the Wheel of Fortune off the wall. Mice... more »
Thanks For Remembering Us
The flowers sent here by mistake,
signed with a name that no one knew,
are turning bad. What shall we do?
Our neighbor says they're not for her,... more »
The Burning Ladder
never climbed the ladder
burning in his dream. Sleep
pressed him like a stone... more »
The Country Wife
She makes her way through the dark trees
Down to the lake to be alone.
Following their voices on the breeze,
She makes her way. Through the dark trees... more »
The Lost Garden
If ever we see those gardens again,
The summer will be gone—at least our summer.
Some other mockingbird will concertize
Among the mulberries, and other vines... more »
The Next Poem
How much better it seems now
than when it is finally done–
the unforgettable first line,
the cunning way the stanzas run.... more »
The Sunday News
Looking for something in the Sunday paper,
I flipped by accident through Local Weddings,
Yet missed the photograph until I saw
your name among the headings.... more »
So much of what we live goes on inside–
The diaries of grief, the tongue-tied aches
Of unacknowledged love are no less real
For having passed unsaid. What we conceal... more »
The ceremonies of the day have ceased,
Abandoned to the ragged crow's parade.
The flags unravel in the caterpillar's feast.
The wreaths collapse onto the stones they shade.... more »
The world does not need words. It articulates itself
in sunlight, leaves, and shadows. The stones on the path
are no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted.
The fluent leaves speak only the dialect of pure being.... more »