From Kindling: Poems from Two Poets  (out of print)





I look like someone

everyone knows.


People hail and wave

across the street. I wave

back. I’m not proud.


Some approach me

speaking in tongues

I cannot speak.


I apologize

that their words are not mine

and they apologize too.


“I’m sorry I thought

you were ___________”

(the same as I am).


I am usually

pleased with being recognized

as someone familiar.


Anyone looking closely enough

will see

the resemblance.



Grandmother’s Frame


There was a painting in it

                                    rather terrible

so we threw it away

                        and hung the frame


the cracks in the wall stopped

                        inside grandmother’s frame

more from the attention the wall got

            than any repair of ours

and the space changed--

                                    the wall, the frame

and the rest of the room

                        around the outside too--

so the whole house seemed different

            because of a frame we hung

but couldn’t agree

                        was empty

                                    or not.



Goat Rock Beach, North California Coast

            for my mother, 1927-1986


The sun rose from rock this morning

and we built a fire for company

            on the sand in spite of the light.


The waves curl green all day

                        over bubbles rushing back.


We watch the sea where the sky sinks

                                    the ocean rises

            and falls in the rhythm of silence--


            the shore alone breaks the wave.


Only here can you hear

                        the voice of the surf speaking

            in tongues of sand and stones

till the sun dives seeking tomorrow.


We watch the surf until the sea is lost

                                    in the night

beyond our little ring of fire on the beach

            and then listen to the waves

                        we can only hear.