I’ve become an annoyance of late,
drawing on space and time it seems
I oughtn’t, there and then,
thinking too it’s little to do with me,
but annoyed with it anyway.
Out the window in the shaded courtyard,
a hummingbird, blossom to blossom,
and everything in between.
It’s Father’s Day at home, here
in Spain too.
Once it’s got you, well,
maybe you know…
“Language wakes up in the morning…”
Thinking this morning at day-break
along the boulevard, small groups
who’ve not yet slept
last night’s sleep,
thinking how much a day’s first words
can mean, even
when not spoken aloud, how
grateful one can feel
anyway, at all that’s said.
Antonio Machado, the poet
lived here, and you would know that
if you did too, hung his coat
on the wooden hooks
across from the window
overlooking curve-tiled roofing
crumbling now, splotched
with matted moss
growing delicate bouquets
of small white flowers.
Ethics and aesthetics are one,
he taught—the inner guide
to goodness: make it beautiful.
Mindfulness, for the world—why
I turn to the poets.
“How hard it is, when things
are lowered, not to be lowered.”
To be american these days and not diminished
means acknowledging what we’ve allowed
the world sees as surely as
unravelling self-infatuation brings us here—
heroic action defines itself most clearly
with the demise of the disfunction
Close enough to hear from the sidewalk cafe,
calm the round-about
between the bridge and the end
of Calle San Fernando, swallows
circle, ducks skim,
a breeze lifts skin to cool
and soft tones float
the musical tongue
that carries this country.
The cafeteria machine whirs
tall birch trees flash their leaves
on an unseen breeze
and the heat waits, quiet
the pleasing lie
of morning shade.
blocks silence morning brings,
mutes the clink of spoon to cup,
abducts every thought—
only the quiet rise and fall
below it all remains
at all its own
I’ve been thinking a lot of late
of the free-ranging possibilities
and grace of old age,
where future takes care of itself,
its own pace, where sustenance
comes in small sips,
unexpected stops, and memories
just not available back when—yes,
I’m going free range wanderlust,
infected with gratitude
for time received, for all it brings
and for the gladdened nuance
of all that’s left behind.
The sun collects gold
on the building front
across the street,
throws pools from there
onto the foyer floor
for days not to see,
suddenly so unavoidably legitimate
our fickleness breaks
winds of self-appreciation,
tries to conceal shaded layers
of profound inattentiveness
to the continuing gifts
Does quiet descend,
or rise dust-like
in light then seen,
both having always
Poems sparsely spread
count fewer pages
than days breathed;
but neither has yet to
let me down, nor
yet let me go.
Contemplative quiet rises,
First stop reveals a different me.
With two more to go, how will I know
who will arrive,
Plaza Porta del Sol
Madrid’s center draws the entire country,
every clicked degree, all the myriad places
calculated from here, to there, each
at the same time showing its own
unfolding abundance of chance—you know,
the crooked, sometimes line-less lines
of sensed encounter.
You know, the living beneath the idea.
“It is important that we die
only to show its unimportance.”
Our most important legacy,
our ordinariness, is not really ours
to leave behind.
Naturalness: not wanting
anything you have to wish for
and allowing the wish the room
to be as it is.
Calistoga—Franz Hill Road
The deep chill a country road can hold
is only like itself, but uphill climbs
build heat that do a body well.
Two older guys pass with smiles
and a lifting sky offers upturned eyes
the grateful strokes of herons,
two that glide and circle and alight
the tallest of the trees, to watch,
the curious goings-on, there below,
on that frozen stream.