Seven Poems from Europe with Pix


In a Purple Greeting Card for Nisarg

Which has on it a painting of a full moon blobbily luminous behind the branches of the huge tree which borders the courtyard of the pyramids in the commune in Poona 


(What is life but a pyramid

Near which is a plaza

Where one can dance to the moon?)


Once upon a time

A fairy crept near to me

And she had the heart

Of moonbeams and prisms

And shy light fingers going out

Every which way

And this fairy had a smile

With so many little movements in it

Like teeth which are mountains

In a landscape of earthquake and sun

And in that land of her smile

So many things are built and shattered

That Pakistan has nothing on it.

Her fingers are tree-frogs’

Reaching touching like a child’s –

Testing the face of life

She never stops smiling, this fairy girl

Who crept close to my heart

And she said that sisters/friends/moonbeams

Issue out from unknown places

To take their place beside one

And feel the pull of the chariot in the wind


She rode with me then

That fairy

And the winds brought us forward

Into moonbeams bright as day

This is how we danced

And are dancing still.

 October ’09, Loc Casette



Leaning Out a Window in Tuscany


And so one has the flu and stays in bed

and the blankets are hot and muffling

                                         and one is patient and still

and gets up only to drink and pee,

drink and pee.


And now it is some wee dark hour

and one crosses the little attic room

to the window, and unlatches it,

and opens it wide.

The blackness is great and encompassing

It reaches everywhere

and in it are decorations of stars:

the village of Chiusdino spangled on a hilltop

the Little Dipper and her friends

clean and sparkling.

And over there, between a roof and floor of cloud

The bare and gibbous moon

With his scrubbed face and silent breath

Is poised huge as anything

Making night colder.


And one is leaning out the window

over the light lichens crusted on the roof tiles

and the air is clean as cool water

and one is so gently full of joy

 Loc Casette. Oct. ‘09




At the Chalet

 This is when the real happiness begins

When I’m all by myself in the piney mountains

And even the most festive gatherings

Are left behind, left behind

Down in the low hills of Italy

Where people laugh and speak

All over the tops of each other

As they dip bread in oil,

As they sip wine

And I bathe in the rich flow of forces

Like a most agreeing rock in a pond


But this is different, this is the real thing,

This is everything

Night&day and day&night

Nobody influencing me as to what I do

Day&night and night&day

For people tend to need to do this thing

                                       And that thing

And one is obliged to go along or step aside


The sky of course is less oppressive when it

                                       Has mountains in it

Holding it up high

Certainly things are lighter and more


I have a huge house around me so it’s

                                       Kind of like I live

In a hollow mountain

All friendly with window-glass

But most of all it’s that

I’ve got nobody to take into account

Or bend my actions because of

At all

I can go out walking whenever I please

Without having to announce it

I can put a clothes-drying rack in the

                                      Living room

To take advantage of the floor’s civilized

                                       Radiant heat

I can leave dirty dishes filled with water

All night in the sink if I feel like it

I can scrounge food when hungry

And at evening

I can sit on the couch in the lamplight

And read or write or sew

Hour after hour nobody bothers me

The hot water’s all my own

I can sit and close my eyes whenever

                                 I feel like it

And talk to the mountains

And feel the gift of their replies

Cool as a mother’s hand

Drifting over my cheek

Feel them lifting ice shoulders

And the long pull of their state of patience

Helping me, helping me


I can sit here at the long dining table

Admiring the mountains

The way the sky rests down over them

White and misty and still


This is the real thing

To stretch my arms in the mountains

To stretch out all my arms

 November ’09, Les Diablerets











Coin Distribution

Americans don’t walk, they are


Yet whenever I go for a walk there

(I’m not American,) I find

Coins – really, every time

Almost, pennies dimes quarters

Looking like spit but

making craven moi glad nevertheless


Swiss walk everywhere

They have legs,


Every time I go walking there

I find no centime franc half-franc


Never ever one –


Do Americans hurl coins from cars

Yelling, Whee! Spree!

Do Swiss people manage

With clever craft to hide







 November ’09, Les Diablerets



A Plea from the Heart

Friends, dears; see my consternation:

I live in Missouri.

I didn’t mean to cut my hair

Lay aside my dancing

And swaddle myself in grease –

It just happened –

Dear friends, can you forgive me?

Whoever, wherever

You are?

 November ’09, Les Diablerets




There are different kinds of primitive.

My girlfriend lives in a rough-stone-floored

Thick-walled flat

With dodgy plumbing and third-world lekkie

She has to lug wood from the barn for her stoves

And they leak dense smoke when first lit

Until they begin to draw.

My girlfriend is a soul of light

She is so permeable she is like

One of those lamps with a zillion holes

                                     Punched in it

To let the luminosity out and in

Nobody will be lost on her doorstep

She understands how to

Take everybody in

She has no limits but for shifting ones,

Like scenes in a drama

Shuffled and rolled onstage and off

At the whim of something we prefer

To laugh in ignorance of


Then there are the walled people

Who live in grand, so-tidy houses

Everything in the yard is pruned just so

Behind the sheetrock course the pipes

                                      And wires

And all these things do their jobs

So excellently well

The halls are vacuumed

The kitchen fussed over

Much care is taken with light fixture choices

And termite control updating.

Maybe some people are allowed in

But I have not seen this happen

Only, perhaps, a grandson is allowed

To run his remote-controlled tractor

Round and round before the door


And primitive people live there

They gnaw bones and grow humps

They worship idols, symbols made of

                                        Paint and plaster

They think god looks like a grandpa

Instead of Aretha Franklin

They believe the devil slips around

                                         Behind you

And puts his hands in your puppet holes

And makes you go to the motel

With that woman or that man

(instead of that Nature’s screaming through

                                         You like a wind

Shaking your vitals like a stand of wheat



They believe that some suffering old effigy

Died on a cross for their sins

Whatever the hell that means

So now you should be nice to him

Since he went that far


They believe that belief will save you

(this the most primitive

scrabbling anguish of all)


We are not supposed to be saved

We are supposed to give life credit

For its nastiness and grace

And dive for the center with all our might


Actually I don’t know what we are supposed

                                               To do


But waddling medieval peasants

Live in fine taut houses in Missouri

And a crumbling farmhouse in Toscana

Shows holes enough to help a beaming

                                              Bee to fly.

 Nov. ’09, Les Diablerets



 Snow has it


My boyfriend too

In his cowboy boots

And overcoat

In his bathrobe too

Kingly disposed about his den


I have it

The way my bun

Sits tilted back on my nose-prowed head


The house has it

When it’s waiting,

And everybody has been out

For awhile


But snow especially:

The way it lies down all across

The plains below the plane

Scored with property lines

Like jailhouse tattoos

But nobody can trap its flatness

Or how it just goes on and on –

 Dec. ’09, Mo

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