• 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 »

  • Insomnia

    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 »

  • Litany

    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

    Money is a kind of poetry.
    - Wallace Stevens

    Money, the long green,... more »

  • Pentecost

    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 »

  • Prayer

    Echo of the clocktower, footstep
    in the alleyway, sweep
    of the wind sifting the leaves.... more »

  • Rough Country

    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 »

  • Summer Storm

    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

    Jacob
    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 »

  • Unsaid

    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 »

  • Veterans' Cemetery

    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 »

  • Words

    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 »