Friday, December 25, 2009

Old Houses

How does one contain years,
In a barrel like rain,
Echoes in echoes?
In archives of the brain
Are endless selves
And more stored in
Footfalls from the floor,
Reverberating shelves,
Old doors swung open
And black water rimmed
In staves , hollow lapping
Sounds --cellar toads.
In codes of shadow,
Webby light and seasons
Stored in secrecy is
Resonance, frequencies
Of old houses, libraries,
Years that formed the
Years that formed us.
There are brighter things
To be, but none so
Thrilled in mystery.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Back In 2012

One night our brains slipped
Out, grew hair, got into the
Attic and started scratching.
An angry mob resulted on
The Rim of Hell. Well,
Avalanche was inevitable.
We slid scrabbling gravity
Into oil burning in oil.
Theology scalded off and
Past had access to our souls
That the future is denied.
It's a wonder no one died!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Opera Logic

In opera, wars end
In strolls among flowers,
Coruscating country folk--
Strife flees a jolly
Polka, jokes upon passion, power.
In opera, wars end; hagiarchy
Bends to lovers'
Tears, children praying.
In opera-- fears, betrayal,
Insurrection-- whispers
Snag upon gardens
Over reunion, pardon.
Voices blend --in opera
Wars end.

Monday, December 14, 2009


A towering oven,
Rarefying entropy,
Elutriates what is
Tame in me, or is it
Tumbled walls,
A castle gate open
Onto wild sea?
Sometimes I discern
The heart of it, this
Alchemy of objects,
Shadows, love
Racing among old trees,
Mounded roses, ablaze
Where lightning stung.
I go where it goes while
The storm is young.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Perfume Leaving The Opera

Stairway apparatus,
Enfleurage, fat and flowers
From which alcohol
Dissolves other days,
Words sublime and absurd,
Song and the feel of sound.
Even a long grind of wheels
Against the curb obtains
A tincture, refined
After music, laughter
By a better mind.

Monday, October 19, 2009

West Coast Halloween

Differences recede in tules--
Black branch? Leaping dog?
Fish swim past in opalescent fog.
Doors slam muffled, it begins.
The delta begs to be let in.
Ocean sends its sunken ships,
On mist, inland, silent.
Silence --so loud--breaks
On earthbound clouds.
I whistle above voids unseen
And my skeleton, dragging weeds,
Returns, climbs back into me.
Sometimes all things, even bones,
Need out to play alone.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rain And Time

Yard smells like a spice cupboard.
Where was rain when
Bruno burned
Between worlds?
A name, a year.
Rain with calm in it.
I can't douse the flame from here,
Change even to odd
In an infinite set
Or believe in half a god,
Yet, under rain, where all things
Are grown, I do
Without heteronomy.
Unknown won't burn;
It is free.

--Giordano Bruno [Infinite Worlds Theory], burnt by Spanish Inquisition, 1600--

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Life selects
Certain molecules.
Even in this thought
A trail of atoms
Disrupted changes
The past.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Secret De Polichinelle

I go with you
Because some things
Are good to do--
Subscribe in dreams to
The coincidence
Of general advantage
And ages still to come.
The sum of it is
Not increased by
Permission, or
By decision divided in
Any way I know.
You simply hope
And hope is
Where you go.
And the wine is good,
The day fine.
We talk, knowing years
Away we'll remember
Where we stood.
We laugh.
I'll pay half.
That too is
Good, eh?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

No Matches Found

In derailleur gearwork
No strategy is more dangerous
Than jumping a chasm in two leaps,
Yet this keeps cropping up in
Time machines.
I've never seen one
But know it sounds like
The second movement of
Beethoven's ninth: something
Between celestial clock and
Piston-driven sculpture.
You don't hear it so much
As feel the world churn
Around it.
Frame of fire dragged
By its sound was built burning.
I have hunted around,
No matches found.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


One is
A changing value:
A moment in time;
Zero over itself
Or sum of ourselves.
One from everything;
Divided by anything, one;
An incomplete quotient
With a remainder of
Consciousness, or
A complete definition
Eternally underway.
I should mention
Angels here, outside
Math, intuitive, discuss
Human rise and fall.
I hear them say:
They needn't see us,
They needn't see us
At all.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Dark clouds close rank
Over the moment and
Upon it empty
All their voltage.
A rage of light
Blinds the mind.
It lingers and
When at last the rain
Reclaims control
The brain is uneasy.
Of itself! yes the soul
Demands proof.
I am always a little
Worried about my roof.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I find another
Looking at a maple leaf
Frozen in snow.
A hundred years apart
We share the same thought!
We jostle the same instant!
Clearly if I want
To read your mind
Reaching out is
The wrong direction.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In Order Of Appearance

Sun pinched from
A plume of
Primordial fire
Lightyears long
Roars at a planet
Evolving a bird
That names itself
With a single
Musical note.

McClures Beach

Overhanging ferns
Barely quiver.
The little stream
Meandering down
To the beach
Is composed
Of inland storms.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Report From Genesis 9

Length of a second is
186000 miles.
Does light dreamed
Upon things dreamed
Travel as far?
There are arcs imagined:
"I do set my bow
In the cloud...a covenant
Between me and
Such is birth and rebirth,
A dream learned here
Lights an ecosphere.
Born, under flaming sky,
A reflective pool.
Bows, arcs go into circles.
A circle goes, a circle
Goes to school.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


One wakes differently
From this than other things,
Panic echoes split
Into wheels rumbling
Under leather wings,
Where our carriage cleared
The bailey arch
To courtyard, then gray
Gothic chamber with
Groined roof
Full of forces seeking
Proof of innocence, worth,
Fault, furies race from stone
To bone, cranial vault,
Castle, head.
The head lifts in haunted
Troubles from its bed--
A dream or some edition
of self escaped?
Dispersed or still playing
Out in Hell?
We wake, consult a clock
And do not know.
Just as well.

Friday, February 27, 2009


At the swamp bank
On something's back,
One point twinkles
At a rippled edge,
Rising, falling.
Climbed out or in
Under wind on a planet
With weather orbiting
A star --its light caught
On the moon and
From there
Cast to rise,
Fall, here, where
Things are.
Billions of years
Back began a plenum
And a bog,
At the moment,
So monstrous and
Gentle it will not
Sink a frog.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Outside curve exceeds inner
And solid axles can't
Divide the difference, so
When trolleys turn on
F-line by the bay you get
A quotient screamed
In tortured iron.
Other dinosaurs bray
Back-molar noise
At Embarcadero and
Childhood, but none you
Can ride up
Market Street.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brain Mice!

Mouse in a funnel.
Much memory is
Narrow squeaks in
Tapered tunnels and what
I see speaks of ways
Found by whisker
In the night --
Mice returning to wild
Light of days.
Yet promise might
Night and day deceive.
How to restore these
Still wedged in mind?
My pledge therefore
Is not to leave
Myself behind.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I didn't age well in my mid-fifties. I was diagnosed with a golfball-sized tumor inside my heart that had to come out. Week in hospital. After I got home I wrote some poems. Recently, I wrote to my dear friend, Will, with whom I shared them at the time:

"... I've been thinking of posting the ten or eleven poems I wrote a couple years ago --and may still be in your files-- while convalescing from open heart surgery --series I called the "Invalid's Workshop" after a Strauss sonatina of that name. But whenever I've tried to look back over them I remember all the pain and fear. So I usually put it off. I know I've got to go back and finish that bit of personal progress someday. Perhaps that will be today, or tomorrow --who knows? I only know I shall be better for it when I do bring myself to do it. Thing about poetry is it contains moments, you read poems and there those moments are, undiluted. It's not like memory, which allows original emotional charge to erode. "

To which, Will replied, " I can only agree with both points you make, as I see them: that quality of poetry that makes it crystalize the moment and its healing power."

And so it was his reference to "healing power" prompted me to post the poems now. I had much to heal from and perhaps this entry will help others. My own experience thrust me into a frenzy of healing --compared to my custom of not rushing things-- and sent me home weak, dopey, heart patched with bovine tissue and a new electronic ignition system. My chest looked like I flunked machete-juggling. That was three years ago and I feel better already.

I consider it a pilgimage. Over this introduction I will post whatever else bears upon the subject in the future.
Sat, Mar 25, 2006 #1:

Patterns remembered in hands,
Fish, ice, from fragments
Over instinct:
Patterns inform as we devise.
Comfortable old skills
Practiced as healing gods
Practiced, knowing good and
Evil --untouched by either--
Rain stars onto soil.
We, by brain and
Toil, learn navigation
Turning bottled ships,
Foretops set with lenses,
Out upon the light;
Likewise leave our
Solvents, springs
And levers for the night.

Sat, Mar 25, 2006, #2:

Bit of rust speaks:
Is it? Is it?
Is it important
How we feel
At this journal
Of the Persian wheel?
A squeak:
Observer rimmed
In buckets, undershot,
Climbs round to
The observed,
Like a noria lifting
Water from a stream,
Is it? It is.

Sun, Mar 26, 2006, #3:

I have built a
Little clockwork tree
That climbs itself
Into the sky and
Comes free, which
Amuses children
And would make
A fine gift, but
Each one gets
Away from me.

Mar 26, 2006,#4:

Counter brush swept
Over an empty bench
Demonstrates values
Based upon variables.
Am I so familiar with
The miracle I could lose
Arc after arc in dust
And ruin it with tidiness?
What if I woke up, and
Went for a cup of coffee
But instead of me
I was a colony of old
Dusty men? What
Would I do and how
Would I like it then?

Mon, Mar 27, 2006, #5:

Mad scientist framing
A mirror, an enchanted
Object: It's alive,
Solid assembled
Of things imagined,
Dreams born into
Moment and life
Encompass content,
Bloom and claim
Seasons. Here
We hopeful monsters
Stir round newly beating
Hearts, climb from
Our ditches, let farts,
Reclaim reason and
From reflection
Fulminate at

Tue, Mar 28, 2006,#6:

Clamped in the bench vice,
A moment of sand.
Sand added and drawn away.
A grain, a shore, you,
Me, time
And time collapses
Sliding back into the sea.
Shape educed
In tide, events, gravity,
I ruin my saw on it!
A shore that thinks
On a shore thought
Is not further divisible,
Can't be reduced.

Tue, Mar 28, 2006, #7:

Carving by spinthariscope
A monument on the head
Of a pin to my great uncle
Joey --b. 1864, small and bald.
Got smaller, balder til last
Detected a century later.
A good likeness: Little,
Down to brittle bones
In blue-veined wax between
Enormous ears. When
Ninety years old he began
Visiting my childhood and
Always had a big happy
Whore with him.
Under the lens a scintilla
Drifts from pinpoint
To fluoresce in time.
Oh! Laughter? Joey?

Wed, Mar 29, 2006, #8:

I clean a silver clock
Tarnished with worry,
Things to see to, blunders,
Hurried duties, and find
That distinctive, cool
Brightness under,
Reset its hands.
It happens easily,
Usually at three:
One sees silver hair,
Someone seated
A certain way in a
Chair, alert, ready,
Honest, behind a
Silver tea tray and
One falls in love.

Thu, Mar 30, 2006, #9:

Springtime now
And now wants me
Outdoors in a series
Of incantations,
Each gathered to
Urgent night as
Light touches other
Worlds, grows there
Where it fled
Inflating plumes,
Dismantled roses.
Each day longer
Lodges in hedgetops
Where, when I am
Stronger, I will
Trim away the
Winter light.

Thu, Mar 30, 2006,#10:

A movement in
Repairs complete.
I have been adjusted--
A cog escapement to
Meter tremendous
Operations in moonlit
Fog, rising at its
Certain rate in
Tendrils waiting sun.
To the pallid field
Color returns.
One learns the invalid
Is valid and his
Handiwork is done.

Thu, Mar 30, 2006, Redux:

Just back from
Pumphouse to
Check on the invalid.
Bench piled with junk.
Litter everywhere,
Bandages shed
Between empty slippers.
He wasn't there.
I know his
Pottering got me to
A new plateau,
But I'm not sad
To see him go.
Just wish he'd put
Things away first.