Sunday, December 25, 2011

Special Winter Day

[Norma photo of Norma sculpture from the '60s]
Peace, an ember
In here on a cold
Christmas and I
Can use a poker
To knock a blaze
Out of it but then,
By and by, must
Bring up fresh fuel--
Yule log? I think
Not-- too heavy,
Real, not so light
As I feel this day.
So on my way to
The barn I follow
Footfalls calculated
To offer an old dream.
What is, what seems:
I know imagination
And reality coexist
And each is never
Without the other
But I forget which.
I take the wagon over
An emblem marked
A long time ago,
Replenish the hearth.
That's all I know.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rewiring An Old Starship

[Norma, candid photo]
From ninety-three
Million miles, a flame
Opens roses --tiny, yellow,
Unnoticed -- composes
Us between what is,
What seems and
Leaves a little light
In our dreams.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Philosophical Instruments

[Back porch Norma photo]

Lenses, table-top pots
Stop instants.
Senses trimmed in retorts
Decant, tease
An essence out of light,
A cosmos out of night.
You'd think a
Mind that spans
All time would
Not change suddenly,
Impose what
Could be upon what
Was but sometimes that's
All it does.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Two Continua

[Norma photo]

Toddler learns the
Search for happiness
Begins with a study
Of gravity, later, a
Study of light.
At this confluence
Both forces
Propagate at the
Same speed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On Nine-Pound Iron Balls

[Norma photo]
Few subjects receive less
Coverage in garden journals
Than cannonballs found in
Violet beds.

Phonetically, they are similar
To violence, which produces
Cannonballs while violets
Seldom do.

I give them to Norma, who
Paints them yellow and
Returns them to their
Little nests.

Whether this is a test,
Transformation or task
Eternal, it ought to be in
A journal.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sub Rosa

[Norma photo]

As I, under
Rose shadow,
Worked my ass
Off years ago,
Old foundations
Crumbled --oh, we
Mumble explanations:
Surely age and weather
Exact a toll together
On farmhouses
And fools --a new
Physique, more
Room back there
For tools.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Or A Kid With A Hula Hoop

[Norma Photo]

Nothing is alone--
Even nothing--
A moment
Makes sense.
Something scratches in
The shadow of the fence--
Unknown cats.
Clouds about their business
In the back yard
And rain,
Our rain, into this
Instant paused,
Could have caused it--
With bushtits in tall hedges,
Percolating quail--
Left along the
Edges of a lizard's
Tapered tail.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

First Birthday

[Norma photo]
One of the most
Important things
We can demonstrate
To our grandchildren
Is how to have
A thought.
I had one in front
Of Noah.
He pointed at it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Contrainte Artistique

[Norma photo]
Puisque Norma a hérité
d'une statue de jardin
de saint Francis,
je l'ai construite
une petite église
catholique pour
le mettre dedans, et
ai collé des colombes
de plâtre à lui --
mais aucunes plumes
collant dehors sa bouche.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rain Hat

[Drawing by Geo.,1966: Photo, Geo.,2010]

I remember sound from
An old house (pulled
Down long ago), water
Running off its roof
Onto brick, according
Proof to my younger
Brain of melody
Under rain.
As mirrors spread
Across the yard I
Aged and dared not
Disregard that.
Now water runs
Off my hat --time.
Time does not
Dismiss old men so
Much as shift
Where things begin.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

[NASA image]

Hurricane Irene
Uncurled, climbed
A fire escape
In Philadelphia,
Settled beside
A bowl of
Summer apples
And fell asleep.
Brainless herself
And unkind,
Irene dreams
In her victims'
Unsettled minds.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


[Norma photo, field fenceline]

All experience
Bound to one
Instant, an
Enchanted flash
Of fire and shape.
Is it motion or
Expanding stillness?
Beyond, fog appears
In plumes from
Ploughed ground.
Silence grows.
What time
Is a rose?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Between Buddleia and Jasmine

[Norma photo: fearless hummingbird]

Survival or novelty
Of striking beauty
Or both cross lenses
To a scent --a ghost
Laid or hummingbird
Made of blurs
And heartbeats.
Am I only in the
Way of what it eats
Or learning to dance
Where nothing was
Before one does?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Where Strange Words Grow

[David Photo, California]

Let me think, for
Heaven's sake, or
Make glochidiate
Gestures suggestive
Of thought --I ought
To know... it is...
It is round.
I found it in the
Photo bag among
Sunset-gloaming rags,
Rainbowing rings and
An odd passion for
Not knowing things.
Someone knows.
She knows, not I --
Lens shade or gobo
Built to cast clouds
Upon the sky.
I don't know, and yet
Turn ideas enbrochette--
What steams remains dense--
And lapse into
Alert silence.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Where Roads Go

[Daughter photo]

Trees seek light
As depths,
Assigned to shadow,
Disappear at night.
It is done
By rolling under the
Sun as it
Traverses space,
Manifold universes,
Being is to be,
I believe,
A survey of
Infinity bound
To be inconclusive--
That is understood--
But often best
Begun on roads
Through a wood.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Discarded Snapshots

Something's there.
I see grass twitch
In a green ditch
And know where--
What, a mouse, vole?--
Some part of
Sequence by snake,
Cat, followed:
Taken whole by
Art and order,
Expense swallowed,
Left in such places,
Dead; there are
Faces I wish I
Had not read.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mantis Religiosa

[Norma Photo]

What takes us--
It might be peeled
Paint or sunlight
On some small moment--
Where past went?
It might be anything
At all, a mantis walking
Up a wall, an appetite
With legs slowly
Opening the future.
What seems direct,
Secure --good posture
For an insect--
Is simply life layered
Over hunger, the older,
Younger record of
All life here.
I believe
I'll get a beer.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Doghouse Zazengine

[Norma Photo]

I'm glad she took this
Picture in our driveway.
When somebody says,
"After all, how long
Can you go on about
Flowers and drive
An old VW?"
My silence is usually
Taken as agreement
But I'm really trying
To subtract the late
'60s from the current
Year in my head.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Emergency Wardrobe Apology

[Candid photo by Norma]

Condemned or blessed to
Work seasons without
Rest, I stop where night
Wind worried blooms and
Branches down a drop
Against the ha-ha, and
See what awful thing
Departing winter worked
On nascent spring --
Ripped table umbrella,
Blasted trellis.
But before accounting
What else is in
Distress, I take my
Night-thrashed self
Inside and decide
How it should dress.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hall Stand

Who is this--
Central mirror,
Hooks for hats,
Coats, drawer
For gloves,
An umbrella well
And, under all,
A rack for boots
And shoes?
A thing I use.
Who, who is this?
Who am I?
Hooks on either
Side, I decide
And change
Clothes with it,
My alter-ego.
Now I am a gardener.
Was I a clothes tree
A moment ago?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Week's Chores

Out early, raw
Morning, gray
But brighter
East, unreal light--
One can't cast
Shadow into silver--
Shows what wind
Did in dark,
How trees at our
Woody end reached
Into roaring
Sky, leapt from
Earth and tried
To fly.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Waking Choir

In iris
Light and color
Course the year.
Bulb, spear, stalk
Crowd seasons,
Push to flares
And bearded falls.
There is ritual
Enough for
Us all.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pleaching For Shelter

Where time
Expands space,
We touched
Hands, joined ways,
And to that
Touch entrusted
All our days.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sunflower Soliloquy

[photo credit: Norma]

I was before,
Will be again,
As I am, have
Always been: what
Seeks the sun,
The roll of
Earth; what keeps
Its course from
Birth to birth;
What can in
Combination be an
Art that must
Dismantle me.
To be --is not the
Question here.
I know that
I will reappear.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Remembering Dreams

[photo credit: son David, St. Malo, Fr.]

Travelers hope.
Space, span
Enclose hope
Enroute to
Better times,
In us, in
Old gardens.
Old gardens
Are monuments
To eccentricity,
Creation astonished--
A glowing gasp
That draws
Stars and soil.
What emerges hopes.

Figurine Mystery

Usually find them after rain.
Sometimes it's St. Francis.
This time, Buddha.
Once it was a rubber Yoda.
An algorithm reveals a surd.
A human considers God.

In an infinite set
Are as many of one sort
Of thing as of all sorts.
Impossible to imagine one's
Place completely, but we
Are at least included --
Preferable to a finite set
In which we are not.

Because I don't ask,
I don't know who sneaks
These little goobers in,
But they remind me
God is an infinite set.
So our ignorance of ourselves
Is a pretty good sign.
I'm waiting for a
Foot-high Einstein.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


[photo credit: Norma]

On earth
A string of brass bells
Hangs from
Mulberry branches.
Everything has its birth.
Rounding dawn
Dreams back its
Trillion years.
Old red stars in
The cosmic spine
Barely displace darkness
Now, persist in
My garden roses.
What disappears from
Light, shadow exposes
From antiquity,
Remotest night,
In wind where
Little bells emit
A melody to what
Is still suspended

Monday, February 21, 2011


[photo, son David: St. Malo, Fr.]

An arch where vines
Outline illusion,
Beyond which
Stems curl,
Soldered in pearls
Where fog and
Woodruff fuse,
Compose a circuitry
Of choice and fate--
I am always
A pilgrim at this
Garden gate.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wind Inland

We wait.
Eucalyptus sways
On gray sky.
Caught in current,
Applauding leaves
All is motion
And air
Turns into
Unseen ocean.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Arrival

Small lizard-skin
Case containing
Glasses snaps shut.
She moves in the
Wake of others
Up little roads
Clustered around
A station, where
Blue-eyed Rosemary
Begins an end
To winter in
A new nation.
"Ah! I'm cold,"
She says, and
Spring unfolds.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Too Bad In Winter

On sea cliffs, nesting
Narrow edges, the
Common Murre lays
A pointy egg that
Only rolls in circles.
You are pointy too
And can be left
On ledges to keep
Unpointy people perched.
It makes them happy.
To learn what you are,
To resign, in good
Grace, all you are not
Is often the best
We've got --nothing
Common about that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

View From The Einstein-Rosen Bridge

An event
Bent upon itself,
What else could be
Before beginning,
A notch in nothing
Through which things pass
Faster than light?
What might ignite
Genesis, whose seed
Is itself?
Sense, mass, clay
Compose this thought
Or not, or yours
Where eternity pours
Its spark --perfecting
In light or dark or
Rain retained in
Leaf-filled fissures,
Erosion slows and
Life grows.