DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Tuesday, June 10, 2008




these marvels,

today being another

ordinary Wednesday. You study this

group of ordinary objects: seashells, flowers, curling leaves,

until your eyes burn, your heart nailed to these visions like ripe metaphors

rattling to get free. Like Leonardo of Pisa, you have an abacus, that just might move you down the rabbit's hole

with Alice. Lewis Carroll knew the Secret: add the previous two to find the next. The Farey Tree, Goedel, Escher, Bach and Mandelbrot are famous now as Mother Nature, with her eternally born again

chambered nautilus, her dandelions and daisies, chronicled teeth, swarms, cellular automatons, algorithms, fractals, black holes, dark matter to the very ends of observation, seeds growing through your floorboards and out your windows, rearranging chaos into immaculate order, the world rich with order, the Hindu mathematics of it all: Fib's rabbits hopping toward infinity, like Pi.

(The Fibonacci Sequence: 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 ... etc. Syllables or words. Add the previous two numbers to find the next. Like Pi, it could go on forever. Remember that old campfire song that never ends, it just goes on and on, my friends....)

So, what did Asaph and Chloe speak of in their early hours, over breakfast, heads together, the eggs and oatmeal congealing in the bowls, coffee cooling, toast growing cold? Did he mention, in passing, how he had discovered this tiny Martian moon, a mere
eighteen or so kilometers across? Did he mark its triaxial shape with his inkpen upon a napkin, and did she respond by calculating how its mere 27 x 22 x 19 kilometers were equal to 17 x 13 x 12 miles, and did she wonder aloud, if one were standing on the surface of such a tiny world, and gave a great leap, would one escape its gravity and simply keep on going to some far planet of one's own? Did he wonder if a woman in society should avoid education, and concur with the great Doctor Clark of Harvard, whose study concluded that the intellectual development of females would proceed only at the sacrifice of their reproductive organs? When Asaph turned away to butter his cold toast, did she spit in his cold coffee, and go upstairs to stand at the window, looking out?

(NOTE: Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars. Chloe Angeline Stickney, a professor of mathematics, gave up her career when she married him. He had been a student of hers, and he and his classmates made a game of devising questions and problems they were convinced she could never solve, yet she never failed to solve them. After their marriage, when he refused to pay her "a man's wage" for assisting him, she refused to continue her work. Three cheers for Chloe!)

The moon is a hole
cold wind wears a black slicker
the last bus goes by the board

#26 Hallowed Ground

In the temple
of our flesh,
we follow Adam.
We are the earth.
The earth is us:
a Holy Family.
Rescue the Princess

Oh, do not try.
She is bought and sold, and
smells of old cheese.
She has lost her story
and does not want
to be rescued.

She is what she is,
will never arrive, never
depart, be welcomed,
or suffer. She is
what she needs: a bed,
a cigarette, a coffee pot.

She is blue, a sort of mold
grows where it takes
getting used to, but she will.
You cannot give her anything.
She is all on her own.
This is her career.

People go by, and
mention her name, but
save your breath--
this Princess will never
be fixed. Do not
defend her. Do not

The Charmer

The Charmer

You found the story
telling how the Indians
put a fish
under the planted corn
the adventure illustrated
in your third-grade reader

It happens now somewhere
everywhere everyday that this boy
plants rice
while they watch
he bends over
the bewitched rice or corn
the red or white beans
the potatoes and melons
the squash
like the angel
who whispers grow

Maybe he simply charms
the fish to leap out
of the water
into his hands
in the red dawn

Tatay's white umbrella red
under the fairweather red sky
washing them all
with morning light

Nanay and Nanay Gurang
the Very Old hesitate
studying how he bends over
the grains
how the earth and water
closes over them
like a blessing

The fish is for dinner
Thursday, May 22, 2008
What They Said To Him

You can see him there, a boy among the banyan roots, with light falling like coins through the leaves, his book stirring with dragons and spotted leopards. They are taking him where he'll never again, with shoes and suitcases and boarding passes, travel. Turning a page, he finds yellow-eyed wolves and their pups, the bones of rabbits. See how his bare toes curl when the animals talk, turn up when they lift their large, rough paws, their lacquered claws, their roars, off the paper and up into his body, as wild as theirs, and his fingernails and toenails grow long and tough and curved. He roars. He feels the ground shake as they pass out of his body into the jungle, past the snake that winds through the highest branches of the banyan tree, past the fixed white-eyed stare of parrots looking at the August moon. Someday, before the winterfall, before he is old and spread thin, and the book is dust, and the black owl of night overtakes him in his heavy shoes, he will remember what they said to him: Follow our tracks: we are still your people. He will remember all their names, and what they said to him.

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.