The Stars Used to Fall

1280px-Night_Sky_Stars_Trees_02The stars used to fall
into the eyes of the villagers

back when the birds sang
the morning like a welcome flood
of a new day
and the town rejoiced

The stars used to fall
into the hearts of the villagers

But then the machine came
and its son Power
and daughter Speed
chased the stars away

and with them the hushed radiance
fled the town

You tell people about that time
and a flicker in the corner
of their jet brown eye
utters “I think I remember that”

but like a shooting star
it flares and burns out
and the stars in their quiet
glowburn mystery

await the flame in the eyes and hearts
that will bring them back

because they too miss being seen
and their shapely silence
misses being heard
across the lonely miles


For Jenna

WP_20140408_004You were like some American sadhu
river gypsy
meditating along the Merced
for hours on end

You had a tent
in which you kept
a canine and a guitar
and a quiet Buddhist roar

We had that type of connection
you find on the road sometimes
when you know there’s something good
but are traveling in opposite directions
and you think to yourself:

“in another life…”

But like a scent on the spring wind
it’s bound to blow away

I’d just spent the day in the Valley
stalking a bobcat
and you believed me

So you cooked our first meal-
boiled artichokes
on the curb

before a night of cuddling
between two strangers
in that type of innocent bliss
that comes about only now and again

we didn’t know who was
stalking whom

I returned home
and you followed a week later
uncertain of your direction

a Milky Way night
in the garden hollow
with lemon verbena
talking big things

I missed my exam
then we said goodbyes

you, turning, walked out the door
then came back after a few minutes

without a word
you placed your lips on mine
and left in silence

it was the last time I saw you

you were always saying,
“It’s where we’re all headed”

I still don’t know what you meant.

You left me with a kiss and koan
alongside your perfumed scarf
and dog hair in my bed

My Merced mystery,
I wish I could hear that song
you sang to me
one more time.

Playing On the Edge

indexHave you played on the edge of the cliff looking over
along, but not falling, as you dance with a lover?

How long have you lasted, skirting the ledge?
How long have you hung on that hungry thread?

The scent of the sea sings itself salty
out of the waves that roll in so softly
it’s not always clear where the shoreline ends
and where the unknowable ocean begins
the puffy-headed herons and their smooth-feathered friends
run at the edge of the tide and dip in
while dolphins at bay, in their frolicking play
silhouette the chords at the close of day

Slide in the place where new dimensions reach
throwing out sparks of magenta and peach

You want to be inside of it
you’d like to lose yourself a bit
you want to drink, not merely sip
from the cup and moistening lips

But there’s a pledge, you don’t dare cross ’round
the line that’s laid down to keep the things bound
out of love or from fear isn’t entirely clear
so the titillating ledge you feel so near

have you ever used words in place of a touch
of fingers across face, the throat, and such?

Then there’s a chance that you know how to dance
with quickening pulse and thickening vein
as you channel the mojo that comes and it flows
and the seeds upon seeds upon seeds that are sown
towards rings upon rings upon rings that are grown

how long can you hang onto the hungry thread?
how long can you last, on the edge of the ledge?

Basket of Mushrooms: Three Cheritas


Leo winks from cold dark night

eavesdropping on what bubbles up
from hot water conversations:

“My! What big souls you have!”
“My! What big hands you have!”
“The better to meet you by.”


3 am rumble

the ground beneath me shook
like a sudden gasp of air

a fault had slipped
from a talkative earth
jolting me awake


I met her on a hill in the rain.

With a basket of mushrooms
of assorted colors and sizes

she carried herself
like a new person in town
but an old soul on earth

“It Was Good Seeing You”

two pelicans“Don’t threaten me with love, baby,
let’s just go walking in the rain.”
– Billy Holiday

“It was good seeing you”

doesn’t mean my eyes
took pleasure in seeing you
though it includes that

it means
when we walk and you say
what brings you alive
what you’re afraid of
your thoughts about
trust and rivers
and justicia
baked beans and herbs
and joke about kink
and artificial intelligence

it is real

meaning, I enjoy watching your face
shift like the phases of the winter moon-
from laughter to pain
and back again

meaning, it’s meaningful
to be in your presence,
as opposed to your image
or words on a screen

our eyes meet meetingly

meaning, your existence matters
to me

I like knowing you
meaning, I love you

It was good seeing you.

How Shall We Find Each Other?

fractal-atomWhen I say, “The mushrooms
are doing pushups, the madrones
are dancing happy,
and the dawn
is smiling smilingly,”

It is a fact.

Because I say so.

And when you say, “Actually,
trees are rooted,
so they can’t dance
and they can’t be happy,
because they don’t have minds,
you are projecting. And besides,
smilingly is not a word, and even if it is,
you’re being redundant,”

It is a fact.

Because you say so.

When I say “a butterfly is a silently
floating pyramid of Original Dust,
ancient wingéd atom,”

and you say,
“Actually, atoms are the basic
building blocks of matter,
consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons,
and even smaller units called quarks,”

because I don’t see blocks or units,
and you don’t see wings.

So then we say, “Perhaps we can’t be friends anymore,

because I don’t know where you live,
nor you, I.

How shall we find each other?”

But I need you.

And you, I.

Where is the Directory
of our Imaginations
that shall tell us
where to meet?