Penetration

rainbow brain

The fog against my face is slick and chill,
inspiring me to specify inside
my panoramic plans: my acts of will
and attitude; a deviance; a tide
as tubular and strong as lunacy
creates. An hour blares the fog to haze
while I involved revolve philosophy,
and burn in words to annotate my days.

Then sunlight brazens silver mist to piss.
It thins the air and yellows atmosphere.
The shadows of a sudden form and this
distracts – it interrupts. I pause and hear
inside myself: Attend and make good work
of time. It’s either that or dwell in murk.

Sensing

blindfold

I closed my eyes this morning as I strolled,
and sought to sense surroundings without sight.
The air upon my chin felt clean and cold.
The chirps of birds were speckles on the white
of 8 a.m., and humming undertones
were laid beneath the car cacophony
by trimmers clearing gardens of the bones
of winter storms, while chippers ate debris.

I closed my eyes and walked with extra care,
alert to root upthrusts and pavement flaws.
My lips apart, I masticated air
until my tongue was dry and feeling raw.
I couldn’t taste today, but I could hear
and feel the world my lids made disappear.

Verdance

verdance

Like fans of green-on-yellow filigree,
the fronds unfurl among the shady vines.
They ply their color light as silk and free
as air upon the denser ivy lines.
Like grapes, except the clusters rest on top
of deeper sturdy green, the new leaves glow
with golden origin and ground a crop
of flowering, for now the oak trees grow.

As lilting green unfurling like a fern,
that blooming is the center of my mind.
As shining as the oak leaf, so I learn
to wrest more light and leave dark tones behind.
And I am new awake, alert and bold:
past middle life and shot with infant gold.

Forecast

forecast

They say we’ll have some wind today. We’ll sit
beneath unmoving haze between two highs.
Your head will ache; you’ll have a coughing fit.
And more’s the startle that these facts surprise.

Is anyone awake? Why be so shocked
to learn a poison’s toxic or it’s bad
to radiate your brain? You know we rocked
a tender balance:
Now the gods are mad.

A Day in Bay Area January

bayarearain

Disarming day too wonderful to hold
in words or frame within a camera lens,
I walk in loveliness today cajoled
by nature, stunned beyond the scope of men’s
associations, women’s earnest groups.
The carat raindrops bead the sculpted trees,
and air as slick as silk massages loops
of cool upon my face and in my knees.

I’d don the sparkle raindrops if I could,
in patterns on a cape of morning air.
I’d dance beneath the limbs of winter wood
and scatter gems of water everywhere,
but I am bound in cloth and spun in speech;
I paid for shelter with a straitened reach.

Morning Birds After Rain

hummer

The visions of this morning put to words,
attempting to appropriate the scene,
is all about the presence of some birds:
a hummingbird that models fuschia’s green
and darting hovers dancing in the air,
and then a flock of seven matching crows,
a gathering once notable and rare.

Perhaps Tiresias its import knows,
but I am only witness to the sight,
as yet unversed in omens, dreams and signs.
I happen to be walking in the light
that morning after storming sideways shines,
and slips and probes and penetrates the gray,
as if it were a hummingbird today.

Still Life with Rain

butts

The hissing kiss of tires on the street
announces that the morning rain’s begun,
and then the runoff fuels the creek to meet
the thickened sky that gray-obscures the sun.
I witness winddrifts – red and yellow leaves
that clump in soggy sidewalk-staining piles –
redwood fences rain-striped, dripping eaves,
and drivers geared for slicks and traffic trials.

Now sunshine leaks a little in the east –
there’s golden glowing outward under glower.
We’re cloud-depressed but weathering at least,
and here’s an image like a foul flower:
an ashtray, common glass and overflowing,
with dirty speckled filter petals showing.

(October 1992)