The salt of sailing bruises the blood
And infects the ordinary with wonder.

Drink up!
It may be only swill
But it quenches well enough.

We take stock of barriers, boundaries,
Of stops,
But it’s the continuants that carry meaning
Through years, around days, hours.

A life seems to grow more tail as it winds slowly,
Hauntingly, toward oblivion,
Or so it seems.

This meander, this immense detour
Charts what passes between us,
So ephemeral, wight-like

Those threads of love grow thin,
But strong as spider silk.


I know something of making, and I’m here to tell you
If the world was made by some grand carpenter
Somewhere there’s a corner
To which all the error has been pushed

Some joint not quite square
Some depth not quite plumb
Some dark unknown fluke
Covered deftly with cosmic caulk

And one hell of a paint job


Big noises drift and blend and bend
Along the big-bosomed beach afternoon
Pelicans snag the wind and troop off
Into the indifferent sky

The snag-tailed grackles call
“Sweet pea! Sweet Pea!”
Or, if Russian,
“A drink! Come have a drink!”

And then the people, in solar gratitude
Lined up, eyes closed, skin offered
Without reservation
To some unseen eternity

Gods for the moment

The trouble with desire

Is the world wearing you down?
I pined for it.
And still, despite long years
Of falling short, I still do.

So easy to sink into bitterness
To collect reasons, to blame
This or that, to stand upon contempt
As if it were a fit foundation

As if it weren’t just envy
Of other lives grasped whole
And lived without restraint
Right or wrong

We’re instruments, finely tuned
To one another
So all our joys and disappointments,
Trials and victories, lapses and vindications

Are funneled willy-nilly
Into dreams of each other
Nothing to be done; it’s what we are
It’s how we see what’s real

How we hold it up to available light
How we learn and unlearn
How we cling to threads
Ever unraveling