Spring Festival

There’s something about this spring day,
it’s like a choregraphed stage production
of what spring in spring is made
with a comparable mise-en-scène
and singing of sylph chorus,
rain clouds adding distant drama,
sunlight streaming from the rafters,
the performance of a lifetime
from this cast of leaves and flowers
dancing to their birth,
swaying to their being in being,
and bowing to their end, as in love’s future.

A Few More Barrels


A plum dropped into the brim-full
hour of summer
and to keep the edge of time
along the edge of space
fate rippled over the barrel head.

Moon Pearl

I reached my arm down into night
and raised up a moon pearl
which spilled back into the barrel
so that the heavens could have a mirror.

Round Words

To hold the rain
the barrel must be saturated.
To be full of love
the body must be saturated.


The barrel sinks into soil,
grows roots, attracts lichen and moss,
insects and birds, bats and snakes,
and at the height of summer
morning glories entangle the barrel,
creep over the rim
and grow back out
blossoming wildly
like life twice born.


Sometimes hanging grapes and leaves
are reflected in the convex mirror
of a brimming barrel, and deeper down
an idiotic Bacchus face looked up
having drowned drinking the barrel.

What Kind of Poems Do You Write

poems made of rainwater
collected in rain barrels
spare part poems
that squeak like a bicycle
Sunday poems
when nature is in worship
poems like rolling carp
eclipsing gold in shallow water
well-groomed poems
like the sons of barbers
poems like mirrors
hiding in plain sight
poems like floodlit fields
with empty soccer nets
sadly smiling poems
for having won and lost
imperfect poems
for being all too human
poems like children
laughing and crying
poems like vessels
in which the wine ages

Chalk Flowers

After browsing the wretched news
I go out and see chalk flowers
adorning my driveway.
Starting today the children of the world
will be spared from our brutality.
Starting today all hate
will wash away like chalk rain.
Starting today all guns
will be drawn in chalk.

Ancient Echoes of Ancestry

Ancient echoes of ancestry
sound waves in the bloodline
like a river of origins
mysterious avowals of place
like stone steps to nowhere
and what reechoes there
brings you back to thought
accepts you back to naught
rejects who you are not
withholds what you were taught
the murmurs of a trace
vestiges in headspace
requests without a you
all antecedents to a who

Accumulating Wealth

You must amass currency for eternity
and be parent of your best memories
and adopt the child inside you
and guide the sick and the blind
as you’d wish to be guided
by the kindness of a blind hand
and to never lose what you love
you must love loss
not only the promise of freedom
but the wealth of it all


Today I remember my mother’s bread,
the smell rises like yeast into my head,
waking my senses to baking dough
and the flower of my mother’s glow.

Today I remember I was born
out of my mother’s bread
and that the hands of her love
shaped the limbs of my body.

Today I know that bread is love,
that its memory is the bread I eat,
that even with a working father
bread was made of hope and water.

What Else Matters

What Else Matters

From the hotel window of our bel epoch
Paris will never again be this Paris, our Paris,
So we embraced time in each other. What else matters?


You stood at the window and I said look
the plants have dressed the sheers
like a wedding arch between floating worlds
and you came back to bed
wearing a wreath of shadows
as though we were newlyweds

Love on the Nile

Waking next to you on the Nile
sunrise lays a desert across my thoughts
of never loving you again.

The Spirit Molecule

The night my mother died I didn’t cry,
it was like dimethyltryptamine
flooded my brain with magnetic rain.

It was as though her death triggered a rush
of shrooms to flower in my mind,
and time and space had gone to kush.

It was as though I could hear her voice
like the voices of peyote shamans
singing their song of spirit into smoke.

It was as though every trip I’d known
was a road map to this sacred place
where I’d be motherless and stoned.

The Barber’s Coffin

In my dream we open
my father’s coffin
but instead of his body
we find the body of a young man
hair cut and freshly shaved
scented with rose water and eternity
dreams in a mirror

In my dream we open
my mother’s coffin
but rather than proud flesh
we find a garment of white lace
exuding jasmine and eternity
dreams in a weave

In my dream we open
my uncle’s coffin
but instead of his strong body
we find a hunting rifle
in perfect condition
redolent of gun oil and eternity
dreams in a landscape

In my dream we open
the oldest grave
of our family line
but opposed to bone and dust
we find a pure white dove
embalmed by birth and eternity
dreams of flight