Tag Archives: summer

Myth

Myth

A cloud’s shadow slid down the side
Of the mountain and onto the lake.

The darkened depths gave it a body.
A child treading water breathing in

A gulp gave it a voice. A father charging
Into the water gave it direction. A second

Of sun gone missing for all of us
Gave it witnesses. Nobody looked up

And saw the cloud, which never looked down.

Summer Midnight

cactus1

Summer Midnight

A man wakes in a hotel room
In an unfamiliar time zone. He has all his memory

and yet he carries nothing with him from that time.
Like the new summer from the spring he is all effect and no cause.

Outside in the dark he walks as if on the floor of a great sea.
But the ground plants have sucked all the water from the place

And have taken on a strange bristly beauty as if floating upwards.
Opening his mouth to say a name the word dries on his tongue.

One hundred and eleven degrees: three above auspicious.
Of the river his lover grew up alongside and the low-tide’s waves

Of the bay he knew as a child he hears nothing. But he hears
a message as when a great wave has washed over you

And floating in the foam you find a scrawled message
from the past forecasting that a wave is about to crash.

The hotel swallows the moon like a horizon.
One lizard on a row of stones.

Mid-day coffee, garden path northeast of Phoenix

PHO sky in coffee

Mid-day coffee, garden path northeast of Phoenix

Sun is a small white speck on the liquid’s curving edge
Halfway down the paper cup. In the depths

The trees are turning, turning on the caramel sky
That has already consumed half the day.
.
Wakefulness branches out across the surface
Of consciousness.Inside the hotel, thousands

Of my colleagues are putting a lid on such thoughts
To walk quickly to the next meeting. I will leave

It all uncovered, walk more slowly than I need,
Carry the sky inside like an open notepad.

Wren

Wren

Summer. The wren in the young willow
Swivels with the speed of a missed tag

In a back yard game of chase. What I am
Chasing I’m glad to miss. What I hold

On to is the untouchable joy of losing
A race to my daughter. The air after

Rain. It’s late spring, early June, and
You cannot convince children

out of school that it’s not summer.

The Switch

The Switch

–then everything else which turns off at night
is the switch that turns on the crickets

is there a thing at all in cricketsong
that means I remember

that bridges the slow heaving wave
of frozen ground between years

is there anything
by which they know they go on

do they need to when they hear
with their legs by which they leap only forward

and sing with their wings which cannot take them backward
what else must a cricket do to prove it needs

no memory

*

behind my house at night I forget
I am in a city the song is so loud

like the earth breathing in and out
the owl marking his territory in the pitch dark

is absorbed into the song it seems impossible
there could be as many crickets on the ground

as there are cricket voices in the air
till the sun climbs over a rock and shuts them off

in the morning which is the switch
for ten thousand starlings to fill the space

with another season–

Still Life

Still Life

In the walnut branches the birds of September begin to gather.
Late August. Empty chairs. My mind’s dinner guests.

The woman who bought the house next door pulled up the ivy
on the property line, and with it tore the bird-hollow branches

of the butterfly bush from their roots. And with that
the flying leaves of fall whose nature is not to fall will not

find my front yard. They who could bear thoughts of enormous weight
over great distances. Now I must take this thought

far up in the sky, where this poem will cast the shape
of it, its shadow only, on your mind’s green ground.

I am exhausted, ready to drop it all, when I see
I am carrying nothing. Down below you have found

a perfect place to plant a butterfly bush. It’s late August.
On the back patio the empty chairs await the arriving guests.

On Drinking a Portuguese Wine on the Last Night of June

On Drinking a Portuguese Wine on the Last Night of June

This is how the month tasted, too. Full and lush on the front,
a vacation rental that is not too big or expensive but rich.

On the back, like the sound of surf slipping through the sand,
the taste of something going away, complexity escaping completion, dry on the tongue.