Monthly Archives: March 2009

OREGON IN WINTER

OREGON IN WINTER

The big plane slows, mists rise to meet it
droplets begin to play along the windows

My body, mostly water
falling through clouds, mostly water

I have been traveling some

The water in me comes from
the limestone caverns of Austin
the rivers of Upstate New York, and
million year old glaciers in the Rockies of Alberta

The clouds have been around the world
rising and falling as river, air and sea

Quiet now, as I am
I can feel them meeting again
hear them, telling stories

NEGATIVE SPACE IN NEW YORK CITY

NEGATIVE SPACE IN NEW YORK CITY

At the Guggenheim
they make a big deal
about the negative space
between the right arm
and the body
of Picasso’s “Woman Ironing”

Which makes sense to me
as a boy from the prairie

Since I have often been told
that there are many
beautiful buildings in this city

And yet have only seen
a few tops and sides

My gaze always glancing
off glass and stone

In its wild rush
to grasp and embrace
any small piece of sky

THE INNER CRITIC ON HOLIDAY

THE INNER CRITIC ON HOLIDAY

You will get lost in Paris
it is not your fault
it was planned that way

You may find it unforgivably gauche
not to know the left bank from the right

Let it go

It is not necessary
to criticize oneself here
they have waiters for that purpose

And looking out, not in
you may stumble Americanly
upon Marie’s little side street shop
with bread as new as the cheese is old
and a three dollar wine to bridge them

or catch a brief glimpse
of that seriously happy young man
pedaling down the very center
of the Champs d’Elysee
one foot and a base fiddle
resting on his skateboard

WITH APOLOGIES TO DAVID SUZUKI

WITH APOLOGIES TO DAVID SUZUKI

In the center of
a great Pacific gyre
fridges, bottles, nets and wire
circling like a rotting tire

a fast expanding garbage heap
larger than the state of Texas
and a hundred meters deep

Plastic choking bird and beast
who in error on it feast

A concept difficult to grasp
especially when forcing rhymes

It helps to think of a woman’s purse
multiplied a hundred times

PROGESS

PROGESS

The roads of St. Lucia
are mostly narrow and precarious

Trucks careening inches from cliff edge
chickens and children clinging
to the wooden sides

Car horns doeplering their nearness
to a blind curve
where one must cede
or both will crash

Slow speeds
and quick reflexes
scare the island food
out of tourists
but keep the locals safe

Close to the beach on the Caribbean side
people from away, in their wisdom
and generosity have build five miles
of well-marked, well-paved
perfectly straight road

Where you can drive sixty
and the drivers of St. Lucia now
quickly kill themselves and others

LOSING

LOSING

If the physicists are right
we may share molecules
with all those who went before
like Shakespeare, Socrates
Cervantes, and Tagore

Is has been suggested from time to time
that I would be well to go on a diet

but it would feel too much
like parting with old friends