Crooked Creek Rail Bridge

And then it turns cold, fall, the sky full of upside-down ships, and wind, the grass turning a bright but pale shade of green, sunlight between stark clouds, no more yellow of daffodils, some window plastic flutters, it’s coming, the wonderful specter of pothole-filled roads, a warm car, gloved hands on a steering wheel, tires… More


My guts gurgle under my hand; yes, a place to hide, yes . . . When the sun sets in the west, the river shines all the way across. News travels: a clown, a man whose job was kids’ parties, shoots himself at his ex-wife’s house. It’s summer, too hot, all the parking lots and… More

La Baume Bonne

Musée de Préhistoire des Gorges Verdon The good cave. Tucked up in the cliffs of Verdon, Prehistory, where-we-come-from. That’s you Shucking snails with a stick. That’s me learning To hide under a hide, naked. The progressive Abandonment of relative chronologies. The slow Sedimentary drip of turquoise minerals, ancestry. Thus each excavation phase is a reflection… More

Okanagan Gneiss

I was doing something wrong with my life. In the highlands sunlight outlined the lodgepole pine Making a black absence in the blue sky The exact shape of a pine. Let me sketch for you The red cedar alone in the lower dark With its sash of moss woven from pure-green Filaments of age, or… More

Group Meditation, Camp Bratton-Green, 1978

The camp counselor’s voice was sun-shot molasses—invite the light, she said, so I let it ebb up my knuckles and elbows until warmth washed over my entire torso like sunset on a pocked brick wall, and I became that light—sort of—face up and afloat on the chapel floor. Gong rung, I was the last camper… More

What Survives

There will be sweat at the back of your neck seven months out of the year. That’s true, that and an ugly history too. At least, in the South, the Ice Age never quite passed through. I can say that while glaciers scraped the North clean, here there was only a little winter. From the… More

Poem with a Slur and a Pun in It

We should admire Rambler roses, so resilient their vines green what was bare ground in a single season, then scale up and overtake trees, strangle whole canopies, if we can stand our own sort. And prize Redbreast sunfish, that flash a brilliant blood color. They breed in streams native trout cannot survive now because the… More