Pageviews past week

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Amadee Varin 1818-1883

This poem is from WHERE THE STARS ARE KEPT, published by Rattlesnake Press, Pollack Pines, Ca 2010.


The fairy of the heart.
The fairy of memories.
The fairy of autumn nights.
The fairy of the end of childhood.
The fairy guarding the feet of travelers.
The fairy who can speak the spells of olden times.
The fairy who can know when love is true.
The fairy of the evening summer grass.
The fairy of the fireflies.
The fairy of secret places.
The fairy who is seen but once.
The fairy who watches sleep descend.
The fairy of the Spring dances.
The fairy of long friendships.
The fairy who chases loneliness.
The fairy who appoints the stars.
The fairy who reveals what was hidden.
The fairy who can see lost things.
The fairy who protects the smallest breezes.
The frost fairy.
The fairy of winter windows.
The fairy who protects enchantment.
The fairy of distant music.
The fairy at the doors of dreaming.
The fairy called "delight of the newborn."
The fairy who attends the songbirds.
The fairy who can weave with music.
The fairy of the garments of the seasons.
The fairy lit by moonlight alone.
The fairy of the storm.
The fairy from the bows of ships.
The fairy of the starlit meadows.
The fairy of the grace in language.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


John Singer Sargent. 1909

Kawase-Hasui - Ochanomizu

The following poem is from my book A LIMITED MEANS OF EXPRESSION published by Rattlesnake Press, Pollack Pines, Ca. 2011.  The book is out of print.

—Italo Calvino

The thing seen
And the seer are the
Same thing, yet neither
Knows it. The seer suspects
That this is so but the world
Denies the knowledge until
A particular time.

In the latter part of the day
Three men will appear with a bag
That seems too heavy for any
One man to carry. They will offer
It for sale and will produce
Lovely tales of the contents
Of this bag.

There is a holy light that descends
Near here just before the sun
Forgets itself and slips below
The horizon as if it were about
To hide something from us.
Here we will gather. Many will
Make fires and begin to speak
Tales that at first seem ordinary
But eventually become punctuated
With giraffes and birds of strange
Plumage, alleys where the eyes
Of great cats glow and one can
Hear dice clatter to the cobble
Stones or see doorways open for
A second and a beautiful woman may
Be seen laughing invitingly, then
Disappearing behind the door bringing
A pointed kind of darkness that
Stills the voices of the story tellers
For a moment.

Tea is made and occasionally a harp
Or flute can be heard nearby making
A melody that we feel we have always
Known and wish to tell others about.

The clicking of shoes against the stones,
Small sounds that might be language
Engage us and we begin to feel
That this is truly correct.

Monday, May 27, 2013


E. Butler.  California Spring. 1918
William Trost Richards, Corner of the Woods, 1864


We have seen the paintings
In the cave of the hunt.
The buffalo are so real in
The light of the torches.
They seem to move, the throwing
Sticks and spears flying about.

Today the sun disappeared
In the middle of the day
For a long time.  Then it came
Back.  Many were afraid.
I was not one of them.

The war is all around us.
There is no way to describe
What is happening.  It is
Like living inside an infection
Full of noise and sorrow.

Certainly we are lost now.
It has been many weeks since
We have seen land.  Only the sea.
Always the sea.  It is so large.

In traveling we have encountered
Many peoples so unlike ourselves
That we could never have imagined
Them.  They are each having a
Unique experience as well.  How
Is this possible?  Such wonders.

The maps are incredible.  Each
Place, each gene, is like a universe
In itself.  Yesterday we made a slight
Turn and discovered an entire
Mountain range we did not know
Before.  I saw a huge flock of bright
Green and red birds flying so vigorously
They seemed to be exclaiming.  We were
So far from them their flights resembled
Writing across the sky, yet full of lights.
I waited for you most of the night.
Just before dawn I realized the river
Was much too high and fast for anything
To cross safely.  I know you will
Come today.  I write this to comfort
My heart only.  I shall keep the watch.

I have never before thought of the rain
As an occasion.  Today it has become
Something I would like to share with you
I spent several hours just sitting quietly
Watching it from the door stoop.

Sunday, May 26, 2013



I was having trouble standing
On the deck.  Long arms of dull
Light reached out across the waves
And tilted toward me as if to say
Something.  The sea birds became tongues.
The wind played harp and the old
Stories stole back into me.

I wasn’t supposed to remember
These things.  I could hear them
As if they were a freight train somewhere
In the night hurrying past carrying
Too much sorrow, too many stories
For any one person to know even
If they were never to own them.

This was not history.  My skin dissolved.
My veins and arteries unwound and
Spread across the sky.  My bones
Pushed my body apart.  Soon I would
Become the night.  The night completely.

Able to visit you in your dreams,
Tell you whatever I wanted.  I
Could see thoughts gather like
Cumulus clouds and fill the salt
Air high above the cliffs.

Children were running along the cliff edge.
They were flying kites out over the water.
I could hear their laughter.
Everyday should be like this.

I steadied myself against the
Main mast and made my way
Back below decks.  The light
Continued to glow.  Your face
Seemed to lift from the dark
Of the crew quarters.

I would be surprised to see
Others here once again.  I fell
Into my hammock.  Soon the sea
Had me in thrall and I slept
A thousand years dreaming the whole while.