UTAH

On this ancient sea
Where even the medusas
Have turned to stone
And stone has invaded
The mollusk's house
Where stiff red breakers
Keep the silence
And the sea lilies are held
In a last graceful curve
Here, where the ocean is too old
To dance with the moon
Great ships lie stranded
Waiting
For the deep, slow molten tides of earth
To lift them free

 


 

To Heaven I present a restless face,

Where I am near to Hell, ‘tis cool and calm.

To cuts I am a sting, to grief a balm,

I am a road but all tracks I erase,

I say hush, hush, yet I am never stilled,

I break, and break, and break, and yet am whole,

I reach and reach again, but have no goal,

Though all comes to me I am not filled.

I roar, I reach, I am not satisfied,

I pound great rocks to dust and chase the moon,

I dance tall ships and always call the tune,

I change with every wind, yet I abide,

For I birthed all that fly, or swim, or creep,

And I can rock a weary world to sleep.

 

 


 

WHAT WOULD THE TREE BE

 

What would the tree be without the kissing deer?

And the deer

Without the ardent wolf?

Slow as a slug

Would we recognize her?

 

Just so

Our mind’s edge

Was worked by the stubborn flint

 

Just so

Past and future

Were born in the moon that pulled our blood

 

Just so

The dreaming eye

Was shaped by the fire

That kept the wolf away

 

Without rock, tree, fire and moon

Without the wolf that sings to the moon

Without the dream of the running deer

 

Just who do we think we are?


 

 


MT. TAM

 

air a thicket of buckbrush and manzanita and sage

then the sweet scent of ceanothus

heavy with humming

small, fuzzy, aerodynamically impossible bodies

wings beating, beating the heavy air

till it is stiff enough to hold them up

folding heat’s voice into the day

 

chapparal souffle

bakes under the summer sun

 

falls at four o’clock

when the fog comes in