Monthly Archives: September 2014

News from the Neighborhood

an urban coyote
as indifferent as Diogenes
lopes the sidewalks
of my neighborhood–
I saw him this morning
but he did not wait
for a picture

nor did the raccoon
and her cub I met
while walking the dog
though the fearless cub did
bluff charge our dog

the mental patients
who live in the shelter by the church
circled the block last night
smoking like sullen furnaces

and the black birds who stipple the rooftops
made quick work of a road kill squirrel
in the street in front of our house

these things
written indelibly on the wind
and now here
and now there
where you are

Don’t Stop at the Waterline

don’t stop
at the waterline
in life

the sloop
moored in the river
is rooted deeper
than wild blackberry

you are in
a Hopper painting
where the scene freezes
and thaws each moment

and the sloop
won’t wait
for you
to become
a better
dragon slayer


The Eclipses of Poets

“The eclipses of
poets are not foretold in the calendar”

–Marina Tsvetaeva

Canyon Fire

Wildfire in Ferry canyon!
Greasewood burns like a match factory.

The fire walks up towards the canyon rim.
We drive the farm’s puny hose truck down to meet it.

It is like pissing into a live volcano.

People from surrounding farms arrive to help, although what can they do?

Finally a wind shift puts the country back to sleep.

Acres of new black scabs on
the stubble-skinned earth.

East of Goldendale

(after Tranströmer)

the power lines–
long distance runners
across the brown hills

while above the small-print grasses
a horse’s double field of vision
folds the country lengthwise

Hunting the Dinosaur Fish

We used to catch eight,
ten foot sturgeon,
before all the regulations.

The best white meat is sturgeon.

They took forever to die.
They can live out of water for days
unless you shoot them.

Time was we hunted
the dinosaur fish
although we didn’t call it that.


Weather is Personal

Elliot wore a yellow jacket
and sat in the park most days, drumming.
People would stop and listen or stare for a while
and then Elliot would stand up and point and say,
you will lose what you love most
unless you lose yourself first,
and then go back to drumming.

It was this way before signals
and beeping light farms
came to town and the drummers went away.

I got here as soon as I could.
You and I can listen to the wind
in the trees in the park together.

Someday, maybe not soon,
the drummers will be back.