unhappy, it's easy
to see what isn't here
--harder, to see what is
a world recedes & a small
prehistoric creature appears...
he stands before me, camouflaged
(like a true teacher)
--a bump breathing on the driftwood log
the lizard's fingers are so tiny
yet unlike ours, seem to reach for nothing
not here already
of the ground
always beneath him
--now he's doing push-ups,
my teacher & guide
so his head
while his tail points
like a finger
right at me!
riding the off-spring
of a wart-hog & a tractor,
two creatures drone nearer across the sand
they have shiny blue bug-like heads
& are either adolescents wearing helmets
or come from another planet
meanwhile, some beast of wanting
devours the view
& still isn't satisfied
until the lizard returns
& resumes teaching:
hanging upside down, intently watching
what is "lowly" & near at hand
How is it a cool, clear creek could rush past
a meadow of poppies as it flows off the mountain's back
and then, give out in the sand--only 2O yards from the sea?
I find this frightening.
nearby, on the same stretch of beach,
another stream with trout already wearing their steely
grey ocean colors.
for the wars of the sea, they will soon leave
this little home-town, and breathing salt-water
for the first time, begin to make their living
in a new vastness.
who come back will be fierce! Packing sea
muscles beneath the returning red stripe of their
civilian shirts. And they will know how to struggle
with humans, using the current for leverage, and how
to go air-borne to shake the preposterous, maddening hook.
not even scientists, know where the
steelhead go, once they've entered the sea. And though
we have "theories," neither do we truly know, how,
years later, they will find their way back (thru hundreds
of miles of water, which to us, all looks & smells the same)
to this very confluence, only a foot deep--where ocean &
stream sluice together over gravelly sand.
One of God's great, mysterious metaphors...
While you wait for God
to come & lift you
out of this
--here are 3 wise kings.
Weeds. Each wearing a crown
I hold a great question
as if grasping the rope
with which to sound a giant bell
It almost doesn't matter
what the question is
I ask & ask once more
but am only aware
of what feels missing in me
which may be the point
--the opening point
of great questions
Rex, sick all
day. Won't eat drink or even move
except to lick his paws or snap at sandflies. I make
him a shade canopy from a poncho & fishing line, bring
him water--though the creek is near--but he won't touch it.
It is good
to have beings in one's life for whom
one would "do anything." They give us the nobility
of our own generosity & deliverance from "the selfish one."
sun all day
at dusk, all is
swallowed, fog & mist
caught & released a steelhead in the creek.
I knew they were small, but couldn't stop myself
from throwing my weight around. Apparently it was worse
than I thought, because next time I tried to fish in the
sea, I made four casts, losing terminal tackle each time
to the kelp--and on the last, snapping my graphite rod.
The debt paid,
I was actually happy to have
my almost obligatory fishing taken out of my hands.
the odd couple:
dog's feet, legs, dick
cigarette butts in the sand
--what a slob!
dot the coast. Wires dangling out
of bunkered caves built to protect against the Japanese
--an invasion, which was truly to begin only 3O years later,
led by generals from Sony & Toyota...
* * * *