First of three encounters with lions

I was about 15
Fishing on our creek
Then backed up by
A dam to irrigate, &
I was drowning worms
In a deep hole, the sky
Was dark from a forest fire
Near Prospect, & a guttural
Coughing noise came from the
Other side of the creek, my
Border collie, started to whine
& bark, become defensive,
I had no idea what was up
& she ran to the bank to where she
Could cross & once across she
Dove into the brush below an old high water
Cut bank topped with pine
& 40 feet from me, out came a cougar
Running like a cat, tail
Whipping for balance &
Bringing its hind legs in unison
Clawing earth & running away
From my fierce border collie.

We are not human

DNA_orbit_animatedWe are not human
In the short run
As many tribes
Confine definition
Of humanity
To their own,
& we aren’t really
In our own as yet
Being gain once seen
Looking upstream
The river pours toward us
So-called ‘inanimate’
Belies Presence
& then 2nd law of
Thermodynamics invents
Entropy, before survival
& now we know our stuff is from
Supernovas reaching back
& now forward
Looking downstream
The river pours away from us
Information is immaterial—that is really important
& together not natural as an explanation
We are this information & it is not natural
In & of itself because we perceive &
This clutching grip & explanation is
Supernatural, or Einstein was wrong
Now life, double helix’d in &
Flipping off this
Running down universe
We are not human, save all of us
At birth or death or in between
Our humanity, our life is only human
Ghosts on file, until we know..
Because we are information
This place is not a one shot
Chance of pooling genes but
DNA defining an enigma & there  is
No damn primordial soup for you,
Rather a spiral spoken Word..
Human only as we
Gently people
This earth seeing
Objective action we are
Containers of text &
Producers of text
Individually — 3.7 billion lettered genetic message &
Each, we are when
Our names spoken &
Togethered & ancestored
Up to now..
History of time for us is an inner
Missing of what is not, as
What is, that only human
Universal prosecution of background noise,
While either on fire, or on ice
We are made human by loving kindness
As a Father runs to his children
Nothing can take this away
Blood having been shed &
A Word spoken before supernovas
As from that dust we become this dust
To step into our home on the other side..
Surprising all the stars because in the end
We are more important
Than the sun & the Son is everything..

Without God

Without God
We are inviable,
Despite prosperity
Or poverty,
As in a cockpit
Each auguring in existence
Has it’s play
On the subjective field
Here for the short term
Gone for the long
Invisible to each other’s
Motives, deepened toward
Craved modality
Day to day
As categories
Each to the other unable really
To name oneself because of
That concern for self
As if we were used to be
Hobos crouching under
An overpass in any
Inner city’s out skirted
Boiling cauldrons of indifference
Missing a presence
& seeing only of past presents
& unabashed voiding of bowels
Under bridges of concept & conceit
As 10 ply tires whine on pavement overhead

We awoke once

We awoke once
on a red dawn solstice
Lavender light
& walked naked
to edge of your
roof garden
as sun’s rays became
another’s midnight
& in a whirl
I saw us descendants
of a beginning incessant motion,
inhabitants on a small sphere
whose turning
lends music
from universe & spring
a little off key &
on the docket
recipients of circles
set in motion, then
figments to one another, now
figures to our heirs &
I didn’t know how
to tell you
before you left for India that
is a clever lie.

In this life

In this life
Of mine,
If there is any good
In what I’ve made
Your hand not mine—
Only has shown it fine
Should my sons see this
The fact alone, makes me truly Pater families
This time left unto me
Secretly, leave me
in need of no help
From anyone but You or inkind
That help I could
Give or take from any who
Would accept that same gift from me
Though it comes truly from You

Buffy & Chewla

Buffy & Chewla were neighbors,
Buffy was a perfectly manicured
ankle humping, white toy poodle,
Chewla was a short haired pitbull
Buffy loved his owner but
had no idea what to do w/his sex drive;
Chewla loved her owners but
had no idea what she was bred to do.
every morning in his backyard,
after pissing & shitting,
Buffy would begin yap, yapping
at Chewla through the chain link fence,
every morning Chewla would whine
& stand w/her tail between her legs
neck arched a little & quiver,
shake, & roll her eyes back
to the house, then back again to
the beribboned white puff that barked
& pissed & pawed the ground across
the fence with the strong odor
of perfume wafting off its curly dog hair

One morning Buffy, snarling & barking
& barring its tiny teeth, stuck his nose
thru the chain link fence & Chewla
grabbed it in her powerful jaws
& pulled his tiny splitting skull thru
the chain link fence with the rest of his body
& tore it into many white & red pieces
while no one was watching.
the husband of Buffy’s owner was
secretly glad–but knew he’d have
to buy his wife another
little dog.

Chewla’s owners laughed about it,
& the man told the story many times
over his lunch pail & thermos,
but two months after his wife
became pregnant, he took Chewla
into the country & while stroking
her, he gently put a .22 to the back of
her head, pulled the trigger,
& told his wife Chewl’d been run over by a truck.


Del Santee’s Irish Uncle

Del Santee’s Irish Uncle
on his mother’s side
was a hit man for the IRA
during the Easter rebellion & beyond
& had to leave for the states
around 1930, give or take
a couple of years,
his specialty having been informers,
& he’d whacked enough of
his traitorous countrymen that by
the time of his departure of
Irish soil it was quite
dangerous for his own
self to walk Dublin’s city
streets in the daytime,
he had followed each assigned
Judas for weeks
until they would eventually
go to confession & then he’d
shoot them on the front steps of the church,
or, very close to the front steps,
having given them a grand
chance at clearing their soul of misdeed
Del and his cousin, fifty years after all of this
took the old man to an Oakland A’s
baseball game, as the former revolutionary
had grown fond of the American game,
& in the bottom of the ninth inning
of a close contest, the elder of the three,
excused himself from his younger charges
& quietly worked his way
into some rows of seats above them & tried
to kill a man, roughly his own age, with an umbrella.
Del said the old man claimed afterward that
“Sure, it was a traitor,”
missed because he’d never gone to confession.
Del said, the old man went to confess
his own sins every day of his life
since he’d left Ireland.

we could walk there

following the path
a small glade opens
into a meadow where
spring fed pond
filled to the edge
of a rock bluff
that forms the brink of
a waterfall and is the headwaters
of a river miles away,
a power of this beginning
that is now rock faced around
the below conifered slope
that holds and slowly drains this
past winters snow melt,
the late summers–wildflowers
out now to bloom bright
starry colors to this
mountain’s summer destiny
found in opened crevice w/moss
& yellow lichened rock, thin air
giving back & away to this summer’s
flash of color,
we could walk there
in this late august,
high on the nights edge
of summer frost

we could walk there
but for the people and schedules
& commitments..
we could walk there
and the late blooming
summer wildflowers will not wait.

Brief description of Creation

love made five animals
rising out of the sea,
first, a colonial creature,
fastened to the rocks, ate what washed
by and showed itself on the lowering of the tide,
second, wore a green cloak, ate of
the sun and covered the earth,
third ate of the second and walked on the
earth indifferently, fourth ate of the third
in an exclusive manner,
the fifth ate of everything.

A Psalm

I’ve been excited by women
in libraries
followed movements with
my eyes as a sail fills
with wind and felt the jolt
like a prow taking
its cut through a wave

I’ve been excited by women
in libraries
whose slow surreptitious movements,
the turn of an ankle
short measured steps in high heels
a twist of mouth
a glance at a book shelf
or through it

I’ve been excited by women
in libraries
whose silent voices echo chapters
of humility and respect
as peasant dresses
and pigtails flow by with ghosts
of Marilyn Monroe movie memories
and placid book cover art

I’ve been excited by women
in libraries
rolling book carts to proper shelves
cataloging history and
time and gossip and art

I’ve been excited by women
in libraries
crossing legs out of terry cloth dresses with
rouged cheeks and
red elevated lips
taking a book inward
with focus and cognition
while red hair
and white thighs exude
auras of creation

I’ve been excited by women
in libraries
as if Sapphos’ lost poems
appeared while I wait for
a tall dark haired woman
to find me here between
stolid wooden shelves
where dreams meet the sea
and hearts have tried
to expose the sky

I’ve been excited by women
in libraries
and have turned pages
of desire toward islands of thought
where there are
rose petaled shores
of sure goodness
and love


was after
dried roses
that ether-death
sickness of after
smell gone
that last warm cold goodness of after
a longtime
meant promise of after
breathing of
toilet flush
padding feet back to
a rustle of covers
of after, after
slamming doors behind
strained voices of
after beginning before
an end of after always
before the bright
deaf rendering thunder
silent dark flashing
shudder of after
& together before



she ordered a cheeseburger
on a French roll with only a
half order of french fries for
she says, a full one was much
too much, now she cleans her glasses
& sips a small coke/ all this
before she had removed two sweaters &
first one comes over her head as
her back arches and breasts arch
almost skywards & the second

likewise overhead & now
down to yellow t-shirt
where both these actions
caught  three
males @ this lunch counter, caused
one poem/ & maybe
has something to do with a breeze
laden palm tree somewhere in
the Society Islands, I stay for
my bacon cheeseburger, faithfully waiting for my wife.

Voyager has left the solar system

red and blue strobe flashing
cruisers making way
for emergency or small sins
against the state
sedate homes fill windows w/light
& inner movement
as if the city & small towns & large ones
were urban box cars riding the slow surge
of the continents past a somewhere
in the midst of words being laid down
foundations–forming parameters
of love–by a ubiquitous universal knowing
that we are transceivers
for us a long ago thought
for us to perceive ourselves amid background noise
in dark light years of emptiness full of something & unending love
while it is we are startled by new ancient wonders since,
volcanoes in Alaska, Washington, Pagan, Philippines
& then we saw several thousand on Io’s fly-by
& while sliding past
Saturn’s Rings we found
beauty of form reaching unsurpassed
& back again–miracles
like morning light on half-visible
breast w/long hair flowing over pillow
& springsmell jasmine, or an unseen
moment before a flower fades
& Voyager has now left the solar system

missing the mark

there are two  men
sitting at a black formica topped
table, in a college cafeteria,

they calmly discuss Armageddon,
how Russia will start it,
where Egypt will move,
what Israels plans and counter plans
will be, they speak of the various
contingencies of this country, they
are adamant about biblical prophecy
that foretells all of this.

their movements are of an inert
manner, with one of the hands
& a self-assured sweep
of the table, crumbs &
Hawaiian islands leave the face of the planet,
a fist pounds down and Baghdad is gone,
the table where they sat
is still very much
intact after they have left

given present technology
& political uncertainty, it is possible;
however is not prophecy in any form the
basic psychic emetic for the doom foretold?

a deep gut wrenching, face straining puke
for the advent of what may be averted
instead of synchphatic applause
for everyone’s untimely funeral?

Independence Day & other Greek words

The sufficient crowd
Where the lean attitudes
The town or the country
The outlying geography
Of containment & submission
The giving in marriage
The man and woman of relation
The public parade of Eros
The missing meal of Agape
The barroom of Philia
It does seem Hollywood only likes adultery

The willful negation of Logos
These tangible criteria,
As if the world were spun anthropicly
On fingertips of our reason, the motion set
The will cocked, of halfwardly so,

The unfathomable bang a
Spot in space and time, not
Realizing there was no space &
Time before

The judgment by ourselves,
Be primarily in ourselves
& may we have the grace to be
Loving & kind & in a weltering rush
& drink before dawn
A dream—the where of now
The here of it,
The breath of is, may this love
Bring us fruit, each & each of who
We’re meant to be & have been all along.