May 3

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After the rain
watching the chickens

deliberate in the grass
a small gecko working its way up

the palm cane
a flash of guava

at its throat
this sultry, verdant place—

we all sleep easily
but lightly

the soporific ocean
the balmy taro fields

water pooling like mercury
around the alien stalks

a dreamscape
a floating afterlife

earth made sky
the heaviness of air

suddenly palpable—
strange to step out

of a life
so abruptly

watch it go on
from such a distance

a half-remembered dream
something that mattered once

maybe even yesterday—
What time is it? You asked

as we approached the date line
leaving the flares of sunset

behind us
watching the earth bend

what could I say?
The rooster’s tail feathers

split like palm fronds
in the wind

none of these birds
have any fear

as I drowse in the heat
they flit under my chair

with feet like foreign

one lit on my ankle
a soft slight weight

proof of something
perhaps our relative buoyancies

February 28

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Slow dawn over the bridge
a dark gray sky that dreams

of other colors, softly, dully,
mirrored in the window panes

of flat-faced houses perched
on hills that descend precipitously

into the lake, so still
this morning, no trace

of movement, no speedboat wake,
no curl of smoke, nothing

to indicate life save the houselights,
so warm and abstract

at this distance—
the bridge span then

extends into a tunnel
clear passage that obscures

the obscure ones, like when
will it turn from night to day

December 26

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little bird
waiting for the others

ready for a fight
against frozen nights

the frost-laden dawns
heavy mornings where

the sun is loathe to rise
I’m a little late

to replace the feeder
you wait on a bare branch

still and small as a leaf
for the pink glass globe

of nectar
of life itself

snow begins to fall
is it right to intervene

or like all else
is this kindness

guilelessly but still
something else

September 7

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it’s those in between days
now the shock of cold

at dawn but then the old
familiar heat

red flag watch east
of the Cascades

the fires taking off late
the spiders out early

even instinct stupefied
it’s time to accept

the tomatoes on the vine
have gone mealy and sour

there is a cost
to holding out too long

a loss in holding on
I take the chicken wire

off the garden beds
and let the rabbits feast

August 21

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This is a language
I can’t fully speak

but clearly
these waves break

the way they break
with intention.

I couldn’t remember
the topography

of this beach, thought rocks
not sand, misplaced

the tree that straddles
the void where the yellow

clay blank was bitten
by the surf, although

I’ve been here many times
as myself, and as someone else.

There must be a shallow bar
where the waves are breaking,

beyond that, the steely water
goes on and out interminably.

And here I thought loss
was the worst thing,

not yet able to fathom
a land beyond expectation.

June 18

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I watched the bear
in the meadow

and felt no fear
a vignette

at sunset
not really a trait

a descent tomorrow
and already the night

is rough against my skin
animal misgivings

lumbering in the tall grass
the wretched unease of an eve

June 15

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we took a vow of silence
but it was anything but silent

rivulets of water
and thunder at the base

of the falls—
we tried to find stillness

but it was anything but still
filigree alder leaves

flashing in the breeze
the slow sway of pines

and so we abandoned
absolutes in lieu of ablution

the staggering coldness
of the river

my heart beating again

June 10

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I take us out to walk
in the rain

I suppose to shape
your character

but two is autarchic—
a litany of tribulation

as we walk along
runoff courses

in the gutter
and pools

on the sewer plate
so we fill it

with buttercups
then run away

June 9

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can’t see the bay
but there’s a river in the sky

the world has gone gray
without distinctions

the ground slick with water
the air thick with water

traffic ground to a halt
ribbons of cars

suspended in motion
above nothing

a bridge is a structure
or something that makes

a connection
this is an assumption

and we’re getting
nowhere fast

June 8

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early summer motifs:


something in the brush
heard but not seen
light conjecture
bird or beast
no conclusion is reached
and everyone proceeds


there are multiple seasons
within the season
nothing blooms all at once
one buds one bolts one rots
even in the most manicured lawn
a wildflower is speaking out of turn


it’s later than it seems
July said with certainty now
long-tongued shadows
a growing lingering heat
addled by the northern sun
we forget the hour
dinner is late again