Sundown on Palm Sunday

             The sun rode
             like a dude:
He rode the sky—gold capes thrown
             by clouds splayed
             across his way
pole to pole, high shine smeared by a giant—
             who roared:
             and out poured
more gold for God! (even more gaudy than God)

Mint Dirge

After the winter, we long for an aromatic caress of mint,
for the sprig of new mint on a bathroom sill, the tingle
of the soft mint starlight over the blue mint of the sea—
drowned acres of blurred mint under the ocean waves,
watery yards of spearmint and winter mint and catmint,
butter mint and basil mint crushed and brewed in tea bags.
This is how we shall live from now on, days after the war,
grace-filled and simple as a populace without wheat bread
or the daily rations of butter and flour. We are a solo leaf

Wingbeats in the Rose Light

of a receding sun—star
-lings returning to roost.

Here, the night isn’t a cat
burglar carting away the light

in our bones. It is in fact
the warm warble of God

lulling us into the gentle
deep. The synapse of sinew

between the wing and the wind.
No one lightens the body

by torching the eyes.
Even the savior

surrounded by water
and waves still

made time for a pillow.
Friend, are you listening?

Peace, be still.
Morning will come,

Two Boulders

On Panther Creek in the Sierra,
I saw a boulder splashed

with pale green crustose lichen,
merged and matted all across its granite sides,

just the way a sandstone boulder used to be
in a small ravine beside our home.

Then a wildfire poured itself
down that ravine, and the eucalyptus

dripped with flame,
scorching all that lovely lichen.

That was eight years ago,
and the sandstone boulder

shoulders only a ghostly palette,
little outlines of charcoal shadows.

Mister Icarus

The house was, what—a quarter-mile away
           from ours? Elm and green St. Augustine,
two-car mirage. Assortment of machines
           built to persuade weeds with blades. And an airplane.
Well, the start of one—a wooden bird
           born bones-first and growing, rib by moonward
rib. A pterodactyl skeleton.
           A cage to wrap an angel in.

What the Muskrat Said

Mend the lodge; mentor the kits.
Understand teeth are the final gateway.
Stalk the whispering flutes of air within common reeds. Kiss an overlooked wonder: webbing.
Relish the numberless psalm formerly known as swim.
Amen the snails.
Tail every floating tendril of glory.

Ha brakha dabra: “The blessing has spoken.”


                                                 They sat in the ancient place
                                                  of the broken and bombed,