Pacific Slope Poems

Base Chapel Conversion

Above the altar now the perfect
implication of wholeness:
half a dome, one quarter of
the interior of a sphere:
‘go inward’ to the one
round source (close your eyes, go
oceanic, noticing deepening
silence, womb from which
all flows):

Remember there
the cumulative sermons
of 40 years of military
Sundays: and always
the air filled with planes,
coming and going, patrolling,
transporting, training, always
that slow drone above
to tell us why we’re here,
remind us of the mission,
define in variable high
trajectories & decibels
the shape of sky.

Hear now
silence return, the air strip slip
into the tides. Lean forward
into this: far off there is a dawn
where we can walk, and rising
all around us into air, cacophonous,
long wintering flocks wheel out their
wide formations and set north
again, rounded cargos clutched within,
quietly expectant of the distant spring.


       Right as Rain Ritual
Before each rain, each
fall, broadcast
wildflowers:  aster, tidy tips, gold fields,
eschscholzia, erigeron,
blue-eyed grass, shooting
star:  imagine

each seed its own raindrop
glistening reflection
of the whole

coming up
to meet it in expectant
long embrace
of gravity & joy & every possibility
of life spread wide together over
this green land:  pretend

you’re God
& hurl
curled galaxies of buttercups
that really are far
scattered seed
of stars.

(Tell no one
what you’ve done—
just walk with them spring days
and be amazed).

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