–Fukushima Daiichi 2011-20??

Tohoku in snow
The daffodils collapse
Lying flat one upon the other.
From the fingernail moon you stole
A kiss, April, as you arrived
By night. Haven’t you revealed
The secret of a fox
To whom you are partial, or what
Favor the rain brings?
You laugh, thinking you can get
Away with no orientation, claiming
No dependents, like a ghost who can be
Unburdened. So where, in this deserted
Teahouse, are those who serve and gather?

Here you are, April, in the plowed furrow,
Having stolen away to the fields,
Your brow heavy with grief for Tarukawa,
Who killed himself over his row of cabbages.


Going to Mars in grim slow-motion
Building the grandest pavilion there;
Collecting seashells dried up ocean–
The pale, the unrepentant somewhere.
Couplets and haunted sonnets I write
Of petrified nests, of starlight, moons
With scary monikers: Fear and Panic.

Children of chaos: Phobos and Deimos
Calling this pale pink sky to mind
Are banishing birds of any kind–
Whispering over their unknown tomb
Where bones concealed for ages resume
Irregular shapes in the deepest barrow:
Sister nightingale, brother sparrow.

The Beach at Sainte-Adresse

Something in the landscape keeps him alive.
Boats and sea subside: sightseers, fishermen.
The tactile sand, hallucination, fever
And that Monet; a chill has compromised it.
The wall behind it undulates. Inscrutable
Clouds pretend to move; arrested headwind
Brushes Sainte-Adresse, dark hull and steeple.
He shivers, sweats, the mainsheet over him;
Residue of salt turns sketch to brushstroke,
Plaintive skyline, umbilicus, fragile cloud,
Monet’s Normandy, fingertips touching land.

The Reception

East of Bedlam, my friends read the paper
At the reception in my honor.
I myself have come early, hoping to taste
The blush of laughter, your sweet wine.
Accepting pardon, I am like the moon
That rises before dark.
The moonlit desert abides,
Worried that you praise me too much.
The party breaks up and some are convinced
That I was a sacred desert, perhaps a moon
Too exalted to mourn.

In Memorium: Tia Padorr Black

tia black  Swallowtails


Two swallowtails spiral
over cypress at the mountain’s crest.

Gypsies, one black, one gold,
trace an invisible path.

In mid-air they touch then vanish
as if changed

into the trance
of our own light breath.

Far below red light burns the field,
high summer’s intolerable heat,

while above the swallowtails reappear
fluid, glittering, weightless in the sky.

For a moment, they lift us
from this pool of earth,

and we emerge, our skin
shimmering, light as air.



new light

The roof and wall subsided with storm
For a miracle in your grasp, still being alive.
Prepare then a way for me by cloud
And by rain. The new light. It enters
The broken half of a house. You won’t
Give up on me too soon, I hope,
By way of Jordan, pale jasmine.

This is how you enter a sacred place
On brittle stalks, the soothsayer’s white
Miniatures. This is how you have prolonged
Your embrace, beckoning to me: absorbed
In the perfumed letter that took so long
To catch my attention. The crease in the envelope
Turning my eye to the long curve of your fingers.