My family, since I was very young, oscillated between urban grids, suburban cul-de-sacs and the wild lands of New England, Colorado and California. I am equally in love with city streets and woodland trails. But I love water most of all. Here are two poems from the final section.
Rat trap row houses glitter in the setting sun.
We are alive! Hauling our heavy loads
home from the hard work of body and of mind.
The weak roses among the bricks on Clement Street
are cared for in the gravel bed at the alley’s edge.
A purple flamingo and the smaller pink one
nest in a cactus pot, wings clattering
in the harbor’s wind.
The working hulks at the dock’s edge
open their monumental arms
to unload steel boxes filled with junk and cars.
From high in the lifeboat, a stevedore
plays his bag pipes as the sun goes down
and the evening fills with Amazing Grace,
lighting us, every single one.
Our Lake Is Heart-Shaped
Our lake is heart-shaped and pulsing with lilies, wings and frogs.
When deep into big weather, it froths and tumbles the shoreline rocks,
all the fine tree roots exposed.
Our lake is a teardrop filling from deep springs.
While resting on its surface with sail or paddle,
I am brought beyond my landedness.
Not until diving under can I know its pillowed, dull-moss light: a soft
birthplace of souls where a body is seen at last for what it is:
awash in the eye of God.