Week of Dry Flies

When the weather watchers start to confer,

Be wary,

…..Be wary of day jobs, partners,

And farm animals needing attention.

The caddis only happen once

And this might be your best

Or last:

Should you be the fatalistic type.

Fractal Gardening

Obviously the pattern plays out a bit

Random at first glance.

Time worked into the edges,

And the small becomes large,

And the oldest wood grain

Of a leaning fence post stands tall.


A hundred little emergencies scatter out front

Swirling amongst the thousand arms of possibilities.

The intricacies of pattern,

The frustrations of patches.

Three poems from bystanders on a late afternoon

Set the horizon just above the bones


Lying deep in chill

Layered in soiled mantles,

The spring grass waits

In the churn of hope

And the customs that years tend to build.

Like promises from old friends:

Taken easily,

without haste,

And carried through the field.


Mind this vista well.

Explore the escapes of hills

And secret creeks,

Long walks during the bright times,

Wanderings during foggy mornings,

And the staggering stupors

Of the dying weeks.


Lean back,

Eyes closed,

Stars above,

Feet below.

Breathe the air,

Sparkling now,


In evening’s soft glow.


Putting up a Christmas Tree


Holidays of the Central Valley Suburbs

December fog,

Wearing, days on days,

Just holding.


These houses, now become exhibits,

Were never really new.


The years of potholed driveways,

Cracked pavement, a toppled fence,

And the bald tires on a car kept running

By visiting strangers,

From some other house unseen,

But always showing up

Just around meal time,

When a visiting uncle,

Now living out there,

Just happened to stop by.


The old garage in the backyard,

Everyone’s secret,

That decisionless haunt

Of misshapen mornings strewn about

Turning, in some methodical, timed way

To frustrated, wrenching afternoons,

And, finally, the long soft evenings,

If the drugs don’t turn weak

Or disappear.


All at once,

Spooled backwards, knotted, hungry

And free.


Kids would throw walnuts at passing cars.

And regret the open window

Yet appreciating the relief

Of an angry knock:

A chance at never again.


They wanted to pin us to the growth trajectory,

Instead of the stagnant complacency

Where we could just languish,

In the short, dark days.

Made easier,

In the the dim, grey lights,

Between holidays always celebrated,


Sketching the Klamath in November

The River is now a great bridge:

The one constant stretching morning

Across the entire day

All the while folding it,



Back into night.


In between:

Freshly poured green water,

Water of life,

Calling water.

Water that hides things


rarely reveals them.


Even the rocks revel in their newfound tones

Shining on their neighbors with the latest


Hue of translucent





Born of morning,

All the shadowed eddys,


And dark watching spots,



Lengthen day’s best work,

In their icy stillness.


Dinner is jars of old elderberries,

And struggling greens, lost

Between the miseries of heat

And bugs and thirst

nearly quenched,

While seeing the path ahead,

Pitted, dense,

Still tough..

To where winter will set stride.


Cravings of sweets

in the soft, cloying dampness.

Chilled, but


All this:

From vistas of feet

on velvet landscapes,

To the endless jostlings,

Riding across this great bridge.

Sketch from the Orchard

As leaves loose summer’s grasp

They become ghostly ballerinas of the still air,


On the annual pilgrimage to winter’s soft cradle.


Morning here lingers well into the afternoon

And shadows replace light

As the preferred method of telling time.


Soon, the first winds will stir,

And the old days will be back,

If just for a moment.

Day Three at the Astronomy Office

The dense moments:

A perched and waiting infinity

like the slow approach

Of a December storm.

This will give way

To clusters of days

Grouping themselves into months and

somewhere listed in years and futility.

Some of these more relevant than others.

All this in hindsight, of course.

But all of them eventually get listed equally

Despite their distance from now,

And the patterns to deceive.


Maybe all these places and spaces are appropriately

Filed as leaves falling from trees,

As they play the light floating down,

Ghostly ballerinas of the wooded air.

Each one it’s own scratchy day

Wringing the counting out of us,

Collecting in the patches of light

And shadow.


Of course,

Back at the office,

all this started during the pragmatic era,

Which preceded the declining epoch,

Where the rusted pot of drought

Boiled dry, until the metal turned glowing blue

And this time of light appeared as some

Barefoot church-goer:

Enthralled and enthused,

Ready to shake, but still too worn and stiff

To let fall the remaining leaves.

Day Two at the Astronomy Office

Not sure where this experimental astronomy series is going quite yet but wanted to move it here to keep tugging at it…

The eyes of a fish tell all:

Where time is patient and easy,

Measured in long, deep stories,

And every truth,

No matter how awkward,

And probably still unsettling,

Swirls into some great closure

Not yet arrived.


Take, for instance,

The hotel lobby:

Shuffling lights of the metropolis,

Hub of travel,

And humanity lost touch with real places,

Like the warm sunshine of its own design.


Here, chances not taken

In the tenor of youth

When confidence was still seeded

Under unbroken earth,

Not yet turned to flowers.

And the wilted regrets that often follow.

But that’s time’s story to tell,




The city,

Painted from afar,

In hard grays,

And street level stains,

Where the lives behind a million drawn blinds

Are scarce and fleeting imaginations:

At least that’s what the eyes might tell,

And the awkward split-second lifetime shudder,

That ensues with a glance,

On another Saturday night.


Shared purposes?


Different and far?

None of it really,

They will be quick to tell,

Not here,

Before I dare look again,

And see the stars so clearly.

Teenage thrills

When postcards were written in the sky

And notes were exchanged in practiced banter


Whatever the case,

The drive was always on landscapes

And shaped by weather.

Fabulous letters spelling places loomed large

Across that endless Flat valley.

Where vacations were taken past the edge,

And the familiar was repeated

every thirty-some miles.

Experiments at the Astronomy Office

Fortitude, perseverance, and integrity

Tedious shades of blue,

Like car commercials

Pushing stately,

Always on sale.

Perhaps a subtle gesture,

Books, papers and the undone

Stacked, scattered and up front.

Or swept aside.

Or the noises cast

By trains passing,

While avoiding the other side

Temples of drudgery

Examples from the inspired,

All the same,

In these tiny worlds

Endlessly turning.