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Saturday, April 27, 2013


Three photographs from the internet.


They never reach the ground.
We can see them riding the wind,
Tails  streaming out behind them.
We will never know their destination.

Sometimes we just float on the tides.
We look up at the clouds but they
Are busy.  Most of the sound is gone.
There wasn’t enough to go around,
Now it’s gone or only a ghost.  The
Blindness is only temporary.  It will pass.

We begin to open the packages.  There
Is fire in them.  We feel we see friends
In the flames, faces and gestures we
Had forgotten.  Whatever the sea is doing
Is making us look harder and harder
At its breathing, at its waves, so much
Like the clothing we wore during the cold,
How hard it was to move.  We would use 
Our hands to talk to one another.  That might
Have been a clue.  Yes it might have been.

They show us where the lightning is kept,
Tell us we can use it if we have the need.
We do not understand what they are talking about.
We didn’t even ask to come here.  We will
Never reach the earth this way.  Too much
ice.  Too much sun.  Too much of this dancing
We must do to even move a few miles.

There will be consequences for what we have
Done here.  Trails of Virga will follow us down,
As close as they can get.  I’ll not remember you
By the time the sun is just opposite where we 
Are now.  There will be a rainbow.  This is how
You will know it was us.  Sorry we couldn’t wait
Any longer.  We didn’t have ourselves in order.

This Saturday Medusa's Kitchen has published a number of my poems from the past week.  Try if you'd care to see it.
The next few photographs are mine.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This poetry reading is tonight.  It promises to be quite an evening.  Hope you locals can make it

buildings with sky bridge-Oakland, CA

broken crucifix, Elk Grove, CA

second story window - Oakland, CA

Here is a little poem on French Piano Music that I filled up with some of my favorite early 20th century composer.  I very much enjoy their music composed for the piano, vocal music and clarinet as well as much of their chamber music.


Tonight I will follow the plain
Out to where the adagio lives,
Where the Pavane is still danced,
Where the melody takes the bass
Out against the cloth of night
And presses it as close as breath.

Where we are the prayer in
Ravel or Poulenc or Satie,
Or Deodot de Severac, or Faure.
France comes to our bed and
Caresses us as we have never
Been touched before.  It settles
In our heart and in our hands,
In our memories of something we did
Early on in life, when every day was long
And every night, longer still.

We will keep this close.  We will
Breathe and the music will pulse
Through, yet remain and we shall sleep
In the hands of the masters. 

Monday, April 22, 2013



This poem is from my book from Rattlesnake Press 
Rattlesnake Press 
The book is currently out of print


I was looking at some pictures
Of people making love and I wondered
Who they were this morning,
If they had walked along the cliff
Edge near the beach to watch the morning
Ease itself across the water?  Did
They smell the seaweed?  Did they
Listen to the wave sounds and the
Fog horns unanswered song as they talked
So beautifully you’d think the
Walls of heaven were being described,
Just by the way they were talking
To each other? Was it the sea
That made them remove their
Clothing and wander into each 
Other, wonder into each other 
‘Caravans spilling out of their thighs’
And the bones singing of the lovely
Flesh touching like this so
That they wanted to keep some part
In pictures and they did they had
Their talk and were as leaves
And were as faith is so we are told,
So they could return to these images
Wondering who they were then and what
Happened and why did it all look
Like this and who else would see
Them here and float away on the
Images watching the sunlight on
The flesh, the bells of their bodies
Making that sound full of hurrah
And the waves coming back into focus
After a long time?  The apple tree
Still in the background, the wonder
Piling up like forests against the sea.
Where is paradise now with its glory,
Its truth, the flames that are their 
Flesh, the nobility that lives above 
And shines incomparably on all human beings?

photo: D.R. WAGNER

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I have a character who appears in some of my poetry now and then.  His name is Ramon.  He is quite an amazing person, who often seems to know the right thing to say or do in a situation.  He is certainly much braver than I am and is impressive in his ability to create magic, not just card tricks, this guy can make natural magic.  I am reminded of another Ramon who appears in Wallace Stevens AN IDEA OF ORDER AT KEY WEST.  Stevens said that his Ramon was fictional, or mostly so.  I may have borrowed his character and made it my own.  Here is Stevens poem.  I find him a constant inspiration and a true magician himself.

The Idea of Order at Key West

Wallace Stevens

She sang beyond the genius of the sea.
The water never formed to mind or voice,
Like a body wholly body, fluttering
Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion
Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,
That was not ours although we understood,
Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.The sea was not a mask. No more was she.
The song and water were not medleyed sound
Even if what she sang was what she heard,
Since what she sang was uttered word by word.
It may be that in all her phrases stirred
The grinding water and the gasping wind;
But it was she and not the sea we heard.
For she was the maker of the song she sang.
The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea
Was merely a place by which she walked to sing.
Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew
It was the spirit that we sought and knew
That we should ask this often as she sang.
If it was only the dark voice of the sea
That rose, or even colored by many waves;
If it was only the outer voice of sky
And cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled,
However clear, it would have been deep air,
The heaving speech of air, a summer sound
Repeated in a summer without end
And sound alone. But it was more than that,
More even than her voice, and ours, among
The meaningless plungings of water and the wind,
Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped
On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres
Of sky and sea.
                   It was her voice that made
The sky acutest at its vanishing.
She measured to the hour its solitude.
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.
Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know,
Why, when the singing ended and we turned
Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights,
The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,
As the night descended, tilting in the air,
Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,
Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.
Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,
The maker's rage to order words of the sea,
Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,
And of ourselves and of our origins,
In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.