Tuesday, May 26, 2020

WHAT IS BLUE? 


What is blue?
The sky, all

the way to
its dark edge.

The cast of
water blown

in hard wind.
The promise

silence makes
as another

sun comes up
or starts to set.



Monday, May 25, 2020

A FAR RIDGE 


A far ridge
marks the distance.

The blind horse
knows this silence.



THE OLD MAN IN BOMBAY BEACH 


How sad you must be
to live out your life

along the Salton
Sea, to eat the dust

of loneliness, and
then to eat some more.

I'm not saying you
have chosen badly,

though clearly it was
the last choice to make,

here where the wind takes
everything and hope

is a tattered flag.



Sunday, May 24, 2020

YES, THERE ARE 


Yes, there are
spirits among us.

Some say
they are angels;

some say
sun on fog

above the water.



EVERYTHING ELSE 


What is reflected
on one side is

seen on the other.
What is out there

is thereby in here.
You would know that

if you believed
this slanted light.

Anything else
is only

approximate.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

THE EARTH STRETCHES 


The earth stretches
into morning mist.

Happiness is not the exact
word, but it's close.

So says the red-tail hawk.
So says the dove.



HAVING MUSIC 


HAVING MUSIC
for Doug, who plays it with me

It is that
the beat is

there, even
as the air

waits for it.
Trust we land

on it, a
single note

between us.
They listen.

Even as
they hold their

breaths waiting
here it comes

again. It
enfolds them,

and us, and
won't let go,

that moment
when music's

the only
thing we need.


Friday, May 22, 2020

AT THE EDGE 


At the edge out there where
no star has yet been blown

there is no time, no light,
no weight of atoms.

There is no coiling
of imagination, only

the bliss of nothingness.
What was is blank still

and what will be is
even farther off.

We might be here, but
that's where we're headed,

out to where it ends, where
it all begins again.


SOMETIMES 


Sometimes
what we write
is not what

we want to.
Sometimes
it's just the best

we can do,
given the
difficulty

of saying
anything
at all.



Thursday, May 21, 2020

SCARS 


Scars the color
of red-tail

where the trees
have broken.

As prayers do,
as hope does,

all these things
fly to heaven.



THE LANGUAGE I UNDERSTAND 


The language
I understand
is a growl

which needs no
subjunctive,
no future

pluperfect,
no tense past
or progressive,

only the Hear me,
Hear me syntax
of this moment.



Wednesday, May 20, 2020

AUTUMN COMES 


Egrets in
the river.

Ducks. The sun.
Autumn comes--

in the trees,
in the fields,

in our hearts.
What we have

here, now, is
the first part

of dying.



THE EARTH 


The earth doesn't care
if you believe
in climate change.

It doesn't care
if you resist,
or if you don't.

This is a system
which grinds
exceedingly fine.

Even as it flies
towards the last,
great reckoning

it grinds
exceedingly fine
and doesn't care.



Tuesday, May 19, 2020

SOME NEED 


Some need the ocean,
some a lake. I need

green fields, the wind
in the grasses,

a small creek pushing
through, a great blue

heron turning above,
the sound of distant

cranes to break my heart.



ALL THESE DAYS 


All these days
may have been

sucked husks of
emptiness,

yet didn't I
see what I saw

and didn't I
try to say it?



Monday, May 18, 2020

EVEN THE SMALL 


Even the small
dark birds

are lovely,
the grace of light

which feathers them,
the way they

can make me
lift my eyes.



IF NOT FOR STARS 


If not for stars
we're then not us.

We come from things
we cannot know

brazed in eternity's
cauldron. We come

from a loss which
has heated, cooled.

We were fired in
the burnt heart of God

when those words were said,
Let there be light.



Sunday, May 17, 2020

WE HAVEN'T 


We haven't yet
taken wing.

There are limits
to what any

heart can want.



UPON THE WATER 


The moon upon
the water is

the only moon
we touch. Touch it,

that you may drown
in its dying,

in the failure
of an ancient

reflected light.



Saturday, May 16, 2020

LEAF 


Leaf
in the breeze,
a winking eye.

Even in autumn,
some sun.



FIRE BURNS 


Fire burns
bright or
smolders.

Fuel and
oxygen,
moisture,

the stuff
of stars, of
wood.

The distance
between wanting
and having.



Friday, May 15, 2020

SOME OF THE PEASANTS 


Some of the peasants
are peasants,
who keep the great wheels turning.

Some of the peasants
are poets,
who try to give us hope.

Some of the peasants
are sons-a-bitches
who drive the darkness on,

blind to stars above.



THE MATH 


Distance
times desire

is empti-
ness. This

is the math
of loss.



Thursday, May 14, 2020

AH 


The tawny plains,
the dark air,

and mountains,
ah, the mountains!



SPEAK, EARTH 


Speak, earth,
of comfort

as all things
come apart

around us.
Let us

fly into
entropy

as into
heaven.



Wednesday, May 13, 2020

SMALL BIRDS 


Small birds
like leaves
in high wind,

the sky wide
with turning.



WHAT DOES 


What does
the sparrow

in the dust
know?

Ask the sun.


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

LOVE 




Even at this
distance, the taste
of it, the fierceness.


SUMMER 


The wind
and light,

a shim-
mering,

nothing
certain,

nothing
solid,

the green
surface

shining.



Monday, May 11, 2020

SPIDER/POET 


Spider
in his web,

and morning dew.

Poet
waiting for the sun.

Are we not brothers?



EACH ONE 


Each one
its own
poem,

yet all
of them
are one.



Sunday, May 10, 2020

MONTANA LANDSCAPE 


Montana landscape
folding up the sky:

there is no going back,
even if you want to.



INSTRUCTION 


Like a new-
born heaving

for breath, the
poem has

preference for
air. Do not

hold back from
white space and

stanza break.
Let light shine

through the lines.



Saturday, May 09, 2020

BARE TREES 


Bare trees
holding the sky

as if praying.



WHEN ONLY 


When only
the mountain

remains, you
who were there

might leave it
for me, and

I who was
not will sit

with it -- as
if I could

be a saint.
The mountain

would not have
it any

other way.



Friday, May 08, 2020

LOW LIGHT 


Low light this morning,
the darkness holding back hope.
All who have a voice
seem to say, No, no, no.



ON THE FARM AT CURLEW 


The leaves of the cottonwoods
will turn their undersides to
light before a storm. They want

nothing but what is. The stones
between the fence and the back
of the machine shed have stayed

solid for a hundred years
and still enclose the summer
sun in their secret star hearts.

They don't know what else to do.
You may leave a place, we say,
you may leave these trees, this heap

of rock, this wind, but the place
does not leave you. It is there
in your own secret heart, where

you speak with, and for, and of
those you have loved, those you have
loved and lost and not forgot.



Thursday, May 07, 2020

A WHOLE CAW 


A whole caw of crows,
fifty or more,

like bishops at prayer,
only sweeter.



SO, YES, THE 


So, yes, the
universe
hums

an E-flat
thousands of
octaves

below what
we can
hear,

a jazz
trumpet or
sax

wailing
the only
note

that matters.



Wednesday, May 06, 2020

OH, CROW 


Oh, crow,
were you a lovely bird

the world would be ugly.



SOMETIME 


Sometime
someone
will say

the last
thing that
can be

said. It
won't be
me, for

I still
stand in
the mid-

dle of
the fire;
I still

burn with
asking
what might

bring this
final
silence.



Tuesday, May 05, 2020

LATE APRIL 


The flesh of
spring, so red

until everything
turns green.



SPRING IS ONLY 


Spring is only
this sauntering.

Its leaf-green
offering is

only a tug at
our wanting more

every day than
the grey memory

of winter's
bitterness.

Come, sun, break
this earth open

like a flower
blossoming, like

a heart bursting
with joy, like

a cliche
in glory. Let us

enter the promise
of spring with

everything
we've got. We've got

nothing to lose.



Monday, May 04, 2020

FUNERAL 


Where wind
takes the dust

the silence
takes us.



I DO NOT 


I do not
wish

to repeat
the old

stories,
myths

and such.
I want

to shape
new ones.

Yet
I know

there is
nothing

new
under

the sun,
except

perhaps
some new

configuration.



Sunday, May 03, 2020

THE BLUE SKY 


The blue sky:
and trees are

lifting towards
unseen stars.



LIFT 


Lift,
where wind

meets
the ridge,

where hawk
rides.



Saturday, May 02, 2020

CROSSING TRACKS IN FARM COUNTRY 


Such a shine of steel rails
in the vibrating light of air.
Farmers are working these fields
and spring is becoming summer.



BEAUTY 


Beauty
of the hawk,

the terror
you can't

stop watching.



Friday, May 01, 2020

LOVELINESS 


Loveliness
the shuddering

she does not
know yet.


SHOULD THE MONK 


Should the monk
come down the mountain?
Should he offer

another sermon?
No one listens.
What he says is

nothing new,
like the light of
ancient stars

that is arriving
only now.
No one listens.

In the distance
mountain's darkness,
a farther silence.



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