ends on time
new year’s resolution
on beach sand
new year’s day
a time between
this and that
new year’s day
same feeding flock
last bottle of wine
first morning after
same old hermitage
same old hermit
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
I was born in the middle of a humid night,
leave on a morning train and never return,
no time to set roots, to hear the music,
no time to belong. No roots here either.
I’m an outsider, a visitor, I don’t speak local,
and the ghosts of Proper Lake don’t speak to me.
In town there’s a commons behind the face,
the Eddy Creek story that doesn’t need
retelling, the train crossing Main Street
too fast, the air horn was all over town,
the Thanksgiving Day storm that took lives
too fast, and when New Orleans sinks
into the gulf I’ll have no hometown,
no native land, like the penguin
in the zoo after the Antarctic melts,
like a tree frog in a clear cut.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
new face on
winter’s mulled wine
worn sand goes
back and forth
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
You want to be my lover?
Stretch out in front of me
like a sandstone canyon,
a study of form and fold
as twilight slow dances
over crease and crevice.
You want to be my lover?
Shriek the air with skin
blast the bark off my trunk,
tickle a spark to my core.
You want to be my lover?
Whisper the wind
through a wing of feathers,
that last rush of wind
before talons. My love
is the electric feather,
the canyon where I sleep.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
(way of the mouse)
release the inner mouse
it matters not where you click
the desktop is clean, the mind is settled
the body is aligned and tranquil
gather the mind to the center of the body
be present and aware of every movement
body, mind and mouse move in harmony
it’s easier to move the mouse than the heart
at the moment of click there is no thought, no idea
the click can be said to exist on the target before the cursor
click not only with the mouse but also with the mind
it’s none of your business where the mouse clicks
the desktop is a mirror of inner truth
let refection be the starting point of thinking
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Old Ernie was laid to his final rest
this morning under a boulder sized
to keep him still, and then the stories,
he quit tending bar in Fargo
to train for the Olympics,
studied Buddhism three years,
bought a nothing Idaho ranch
for a nature preserve, taught school,
opened a Mexican restaurant in Rome,
launched a ‘Nature Music’ radio station,
went to Congo for the logging,
and that’s where he tipped over.
Ernie had more moves than a chorus girl,
more changes than a weatherman,
but now he knows his place,
now he’s predictable.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tara's voice travels the beach like rolling surf,
plods along the sand, pounds rocks,
pesters the skittering shorebirds. Receding waves
pull at my legs, leave salt in my clothes.
A kittiwake glides down the beach like a tourist
junk yard browsing, leg dangling,
looking past me. We turn to a pointless beach
and find a place to stretch and preen,
pull out the road map where we’ve been,
trace footfalls long ago washed
into the ocean. The surf dumps
in tide pools where a barnacle flicks his net
for tiny bits to drag inside a shell,
and waits for the next rolling surf.
Monday, December 18, 2006
crosses the bar
on new snow
the ferry landing
creaks and groans
leave in the night
land at airport
in the dark
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Early pioneers wagon west
through Sand Gap, the earlies grow
a few crops, build a forever mill
at the river, fish a run
that’ll never dry up, settle
a blacksmith and tavern between the river
and Boy Scout Knob. The settlement grows
a not-much town, a hotel opens
next to the tavern, the knob gets
a touched-up name, and West End
is the dirt road by Sidney Creek
with one-rooms by the day.
Not-much gains weight
and fords the creek, crawls a railroad
around the ridge and puts a school
across the pasture. It bridges the river,
endangers the harbor and offends the ocean.
Not-much keeps stretching and shifting,
the blacksmith is gone, the mill is down
to one shift, the fishing is run down
to sport, but Sidney is still here,
it runs through a not-much park,
and the road called West End.
Monday, December 11, 2006
The San Juan flows like Joan’s tawny back,
natural light enwraps standing waves
and descends past thought, eddies coil
around dimples and swallow the black,
plunging rapids cover snaggy rock
in river dust and rainbow shards,
like peach blossoms on Joan’s tawny back.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
The youngest daughter prepared
turkey and squash for the family
while Coyote watched
from the shade of a juniper.
Her thoughts were of family
she didn't notice he put sticks
in the path to trip her
so he could snatch fallen morsels.
From a high cliff Raven watched.
Raven flew over the plateau
rising in the sky his eye captured
light from the sun
rising higher his feathers grew
large and black until
all was covered with his darkest shadow
and Coyote could not see food to steal
he only saw the youngest daughter
in the light of Raven's eye.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
No two poems are the same,
exotic crystalline structures
cast from a cloud’s gray terrace.
The exotics swirl around,
find a place to think a golden sunrise
over a vacant mudflat, a flight of teal
flashing green wing bars
in gathering ground fog. The exotics
drift through and one lands on a sleeve,
pauses and melts to a tear, and then another,
until there’s a mark,
a wet spot.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
This morning I have an omelet, hash browns
and coffee next to the ersatz wood stove
at the Tokeland Hotel, the two-lady
table is drinking pink bubbly in a wine glass,
one of the four olders send the plate back
to the kitchen, and a young brunette on a bench
plays guitar for the three-leg dog.
Over in the marina the old cannery
is missing the north wall, five-hundred
godwits rest on the floating dock, two crabbers
on a boat talk long and small,
six grebes catch brunch in the bay,
and a young brunette on a bench plays guitar
for the three-leg dog. Westport
has a traffic jam
in front of the Hawaiian Barbecue,
twenty-five rock sandpipers perch
on the pilings, a fish-catcher packs
his tackle and takes his kid home, and it’s cold
enough to make a three-leg dog shiver.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Put a frog in a pan of water,
let him relax, slowly add heat.
The frog adapts and settles in,
he can forecast the present
but not the future, he can’t tell
what’s coming. Increase the heat
and the frog gets anxious,
tell him it’s a natural cycle.
Add more heat, the frog starts to worry,
tell him the scientists don’t agree
on pan warming, it’s not our fault,
it’s beyond our control. Increase the heat,
the frog says it’s never been this hot,
there’s never been so much steam,
old ways need change.
Tell him not to worry,
the solution is technology.
When the steam clears
cash out the carcass,
get a new frog, and a pan of water.