To live where no place
The trails in the hills are dry now,
creek beds wet and moving.
Nettles stand out, at least two
of the family, along outside edges,
patches and stands of poison oak.
of deep-throated Yerba Sant
kiss our steps
with delicate white petals—there’s more,
of course, so much more unfathomable fullness
that senses stretch to a singular gasp.
Robinson Jeffers accused himself
of a “harder mysticism,” a world needing nothing
of man’s to sustain the wholeness of its beauty,
Fresh corn bread
as it cools, just before
the shell sets…you know.
Buckeye buds from pink to white,
from bottom to top, from there
to the air.
from the fruit trees,
pulling curled, misshapen leaves,
especially bunched bleeders,
so sunlight can do the work
I can’t begin to do
Clouds these past days
push from the west against the ridge,
hold there with chill.
Shadowed hills less inviting,
gardening more easily postponed,
errant patches of sunlight murmur
remembrance of the inevitable.
Dry trails, wet boots, a wet beard,
all tell pre-summer stories here. Sunless
blankets of fog—the bay a dream—ocean
gone—but light, ah yes, light always allows.
the passing of books from a friend
gentle as dawn searching itself
fingers and eyes catch this, turn that,
let go, covet—
quiet waking to the walk underway,
warm in prayers
another’s words, music
for a heart not alone
what we look for, each of us, he said,
is affirmation—the mistake
is to turn to argument—
it’s in the beauty
Thinking about it, about making statements
of how it is for me, seems, after thinking
about it in light of the mysterious, ie.,
unknowable nature of the unstoppable
motion-flow of this living-dying experience
holding us, thinking about this way makes me
think, to speak the petals that flutter
may say more than trying to trace the tree.
Falling petals, after all, do remind our eyes
to turn upward.
conflict, fear, opposition
and the natural desire to overcome,
to relieve ourselves of these, to realize
freedom—is the state of things for us
the browned leaf tremors, bamboo
taken in wind only today’s
so unremarkably common
as never to be repeated
Don’t ask me
I just follow my feet—
wherever we go
they seem to know,
even without a map.
I dreamed once about a white path.
Flames lick at one side, waves threaten
the other. Behind, all the decisions ever made
to get you to right here.
A familiar voice urges. Another
calls—the path, the only promise
you can count on.
I woke up then, swung waiting feet
over the side, where they walked.
Is stardust then kind of like the universe
passing gas—and if so, what does it mean to say
the universe manifests us ?
the tongue releases reality’s tissue
into air carrying the common’s dreams,
there, shared or not
The gracious gesture does not go unnoticed,
especially when under-appreciation is
Living in fields of opposites, as we do, does not
mean we are stuck with a life of this over that.
In delicious tastes, intervening tensions sustain
an unspeakable space of broader connectives.
The graciousness of unattributable presence
breathing all and every.
In the dream I lay stretched out, sharp-cut grass
under my chin, pen in hand, readied. I move
spot to spot, listening, writing, hearing roots hum
earth’s names: no thing ever is turned away here.
It occurred to me
while reading of the life of a Spanish immigrant
to France, schooled there, who in 1906 comes
here a youth to learn of democracy and to be
a cowboy, and who does, and who becomes
as well an expert ethnomusicologist, a linguist
and poet and keeper of songs
of the multiples of peoples native to this place
it occurred to me what better place to plant
the tongue of Buddha’s names, what better place
than this that’s absorbed so much of so many—
why not these songs too…
One day either way
would have made
this life was made.
Through the one window
to the south, moon light
dapples soft carpeted floor
surrendering bared feet.