Poetry Archives Index










A lost Dutchman

is comforted by her Little Prince


































Shakespeare and Co.  Paris




















22 poems





Shakespeare and Co.  Paris




This is a maze for mice,

a labyrinth of literature,

a flophouse for brilliant,

dreamers who chase the moon:

readers, writers, poets, adventurers.

Amazing souls.


It is a place of presence; a vortex of ideas encrusted

with old books: the legacy of trees,

bodily fluids, hot juice, tears.


I'm here to write; to gather my head

back to my bones in the dust of old places,

to feel again ancient souls

moving through things--

mirrors of magic

lit by imaginative memory,

clear glass undetected by

those overly concerned with

reflections of the preening self.


Notre Dame, the sound of passing cars;

Paris wearing gray like a pouting schoolgirl

not allowed to wear her lipstick:

dutiful, dull, passing time

until night comes--when she

makes her own sunshine:

an amusement park

made for masked dancers;

a costumed lady with a dark belly.


Shakespeare and Co. proudly founded in 1951

and run by a wizened man,

a literary relique, a man who admires angels

dressed as little girls.


I hear he got Alan Ginsburg drunk once.

I don't see that as much of an accomplishment:

except it was to overcome his shyness

so he could howl his Howl. Just another night in Paris

becoming history.


Famous George of Paris has seen a lot of history

here. His eyes clouded with countless memories.

Many writers on the walls--

pictures inscribed to him. Jacqueline Kennedy

slept here: well at least passed by. I doubt she used

the tub or looked in the fridge,

(reliques with the mold of history on them there as well).

But many have looked, and laughed, and left their own marks:

poems and pictures, hieroglyphics of the mind,

testaments to an old man holding a child inside

who dreams of being welcomed into heaven

by angels he has housed here.


Pigeons drift down from the rooftops of Paris

to peck dirty food scraps into small pieces.

I've watched them do this,

mannequins marching, strutting

like intellectuals too full of their own thoughts

to feel their way into another person's ears.


Willy is sleeping on the coach.

The day too gray even for an Irishman.

(I didn't think such a thing was possible.)

He was going to write a few thoughts down today

but lent his pen and paper to a wayfaring woman from Canada.

May the muse reward him. No bit of kindness is too small.


I've delayed my train ride to Italy for just three days more.

I want to be here in Paris. The first week has been a delirium.

Now it's time for feasting. It's not a dream I pursue really,

a poet hidden away, pouring gold from his pen

amidst a fabulous hovel of books,

but rather contacts with real people, mind touching mind,

heart massages that only friends can give,

joy in nuances. Those huge old French tapestries

were all woven by patient people, one throw at a time.

So goes the making of soul and the passing of time.


There are pretty young women here.

I haven't outgrown that attraction yet:

the lime green thrill of fresh womanhood.

God grant me grace that I never do.

My eyes follow soft lines, the smoothness.

Something inside me feels without touch.

Food for the young woman who lives

in my heart, an immortal litheness springing.


I'm going to slow down now. I must.

Read poems in a bar and talked to a young man

who has walked the pilgrim trails of France.

A feasible dream for next year, if my legs hold up.

Perhaps a horse goes slow enough.

Perhaps I'll acquire an animal friend

to nose around back roads,

medieval highways, the dust-choked expressways

of beetles and birds.




I'm delaying that train ride to Italy again.

Can't get enough. It only gets richer.

Paris: its bells ringing; sirens in the streets.

Flower stalls, subdued paintings on old walls.

Fluid chatter over coffee; languid looks

over wine. A magician with

the masterful slight of hand.

I laugh at my good fortune

in this cascade of sensations

awakening thankfulness and thought.




Rainbow festival, Italy

Late July to early August, 2000




Confused, clear,

passionate as fire,

walking through forests

dreaming he can talk with God,

the man is a child

who needs to be held

for weeks, for months,

for years,

in the warmth of some woman's lullabies

until his heart knows

he can never be rejected,

never be lost and unknown again

for he sleeps in a starry sea

and amidst the rolling white clouds

that spill over black mountains

after a rain.

One day,

this man Vincent

will sing a song,

with such innocent passion of heart,

with such honesty of intent

that birds will circle him as he sings

and bears hidden in deep brush

will lick their paws with anticipative joy

knowing that such songs

are the beginning

of a dream so beautiful

as to awaken even

the slumbering souls

of men.







The man is a bear

in the hairy, brown skin

of a seal. A barrel-chested man,

he is half wild with loneliness

of soul and happiness of mind.

He sings as effortlessly as birds,

and howls his hidden pain

in the joyful cry of a crazy wolf.

He specializes in massaging

young, naked women,

a service of sacrificial love--

and in passing the magic hat

so food can be multiplied,

japaties patted and cooked.

His gray beard is made

of wood smoke,

his blue shorts

were torn from the sky,

his hair was stolen from a wild horse's tail,

his face was forged

in a furnace of dirty brick.

Life moves through

this small mountain of a man

with the same thrill

that trees feel in the wind

or that river stones feel

as cold water passes.

If Ulysses should love a woman

with all the intensity

of his crazy soul

she would melt

into liquid metal

and quivering, reflect

with her fire

his shining face

to the sky.




A lost Dutchman

is comforted by her Little Prince


We noticed him sitting on the stone wall below the ancient Etruscan city.

He reminded me of my lost self so close to me, so precariously

shielded by this company. She stepped beyond patterns

people teach each other and asked him questions

about his life. He was so happy. And Love had her.

She wouldn’t back down. Soon she was telling him

of her favorite story, the one held in the small book

she carried, the treasure, her one possession.

He responded: the lost child touching the face of God's child

without fingers, but with the luminous chords

unraveling from his heart. She gave him her book.




August 28, 2000

Rioz, France




Simple openness:

the whole world fights it:

this most natural state,

this foundational being.



Sky shining

through the eyes

from open windows in the heart.

The belly spills out bright water:

and laughs.


Everything is a gift

to those who welcome everything:

Who has bought the sun?

Who owns the sky?

Who pays the grass to grow?


There is an apple tree

with red apples shining in the morning light.

It is a miracle!

Rainbows play through dew in the grass.

Heaven is in an old man's back yard.

The old man sleeps

in a dark as deep

as a blackbird's wing.


In his neighbor's yard

I am breathing in

and breathing out

every essential thing…

Love pours.







Forgiveness is freedom.

Letting go: the shadows burn away,

flying upwards into the sun.

Colors break through some gray in the mind.

Welcoming every essential thing

flowing from the still point

of nothing at all—

my opening heart sings.






REWRITE: October 28, 2000 Davis, CA


Someone with an open heart

is wealthier then all Corporations combined.

The treasure of Life itself

pours through. Awareness opens

and expands outward, inward:

the natural rhythm of existence.

Happiness radiates from each bodily cell.

The hands shine; eyes shine;

naked feet caress the earth.

Such foolishness, such poverty:

the luminous pearl shines in dark shadows

of dense things.

Everyone is scurrying around,

lost in desires that lead nowhere.

Ah, the joy of desiring

the sublime and luminous source

of everything!

A soul, weaving itself with treads of light,

with smears of rich color,

appears in the garden of invisible beings.

Someone is singing with the tongues of angels

amidst a world asleep in rock-and-roll:

some naked person is clothed in luxurious light

amidst a world ridiculous in designer jeans.

The sun, the moon, the stars

pour out the gift:

the earth sings God

and time rolls on—

the inescapable reality

spilling souls out into eternity.

What laughter, what weeping:

this divine joke, this cruel delusion:

Death teaches us what is essential in Life;

Life teaches us there is no death.

Up in the towers of Corporations

everything essential has been forgotten

for essentialities are free

and lead to freedom.

In a land where every unessential thing

comes with a price

who can pay the price

of forgetting to become real?

How tragic it is to forget

that your heart is designed to open.








The story of becoming unfolds:

written on the leaves of trees;

written with the ink of clouds

on weathered stones.

Life flows through to touch Life:

Love flows through to awaken Love:

Like seeking like. Angels blow trumpets,

peeking out around castle walls.

Love dismantles walls, stone by stone,

to reveal a city of sunshine.








What a long journey it is

to this joy:

simple, natural thankfulness.








A pearl is shining

in the morning sun.

Rose petals glisten

with night dew.

Earth is fragrant;

sky is fresh.

An apple tree

drops its fruit on the ground.

A worm has eaten

an endless hole.

Shriveled, this apple,

reveals death

in the midst of beauty.

Mystical, essential apple...






Rioz, France


A new language,

new meanings:

Sounds I do not know.

Worlds to enter;

souls to meet.

A woman speaks

this language like bird song,

singing sound

into my heart.

Her eyes are full

of young light.

I love her.







August 28, 2000

Rioz, France




Cheese, wine,

an old moulin

where many Germans died.

Sleepy wandering,

the river and I.

We pick berries

to make a necklace

under a lacy sky.

Childhood memories:

a dead rat floats;

a stolen boat;

above the earth

a human-headed eagle









August 31, 2000

Rioz, France




Little pools:

a perfect place to be silent,

to open the heart,

to run naked,


to come clear.

Above us

an 800 year old church,


like a foursquare stone,

meek in Catholic graces.

The wind whispers instructions

about transparencies.

By night, faint light of stars,

ancient, eternally young,

singing, enwraps us.

Love is a young light…

I've learned

that the soul who understands death

and the meaning of life's graces

is ageless.

Here, in the slow flow

of unhurried time

I've talked to Love.

She told me I am loved.

Now life is about throwing open

my arms,

about saying the absolute Yes

my body was created

in its beginnings to speak.

The little river spills

light and laughter

from pool to pool.

Life was made

to share.






September 1, 2000

Rioz, France




The dream of love

comes from clouds,

from the wild eyes of horses,

from the laughter of water falling.

It lives in simple houses,

in stone sinks,

in wooden tables and chairs,

in loaves of bread,

in dustpans and brooms,

in a bed of love

where sunlight

shines in the sheets.

Love is poetry,

a poetry that asks of us

all the heart:

to drink the brew of heaven,

to pour out simple

shifting fragrances in words,

or colors, or the forms of things.

How rare is the soul

who knows how precious is the gift

being offered.

The Great Love

is everywhere,

enveloping us

as oceans

enwrap fish,

as sky holds birds and clouds...

yet how rare the soul

who can drink it in

and wake up,

with passion to share

this poetry of life,

these colors of God’s dream.








St. Pere Pescadore, Spain


She moves like a sensuous cloud

with her laughing eyes.

Slow, meditative, free,

curious and shy,

defiant and strong,

fragile as mist...

              she moves through me.

Her quiet humor comforts me:

"Molto chic!" She makes me feel

full and beautiful, like a young sun:

I hold my head high—I shine!

and laugh down to my innocence.

With surrender and desire

I do a dance around her

young, sensual womanhood.

She is a holy gift to be desired:

half woman, half selfish child,

compassionate and wise beyond her years

              because of death...

Slow to arise, moody,

when she awakes

pink roses are in her veins;

an Indian moon in each eye.

The forest sings in her blood,

mud and the new Spanish sea.

We eat avocados from Israel,

sardines from the North Sea,

the oils of Italy and rye:

she savors ecstatic gifts.

Her feet are thick, like a peasant’s,

to wander the world:

holy islands;

the high Pyrenees;

sweet pools of Thines.

Spirit flows from her open palms:

she touches me;

              my body sings—

and the little child in me

gazes at the child in her—

we laugh, "Molto chic!"

and love this happy

face of God.








We spun by the sea

naked, covered with the sand

of Spain,

under the circle of sky,

around intentions,

around aversions,

around desires,

laughing, dizzy

with dreams,

with the raucous cry of sea gulls,

with the silky shift of the sea.

A test of strength,

a child's game:

Young life surged like sea wind

over the sandy hill of years

and spilled gently

into unguarded hearts.

One in the game,

first I fell, dizzy as a child:

Will she?

Spirit laughs

when it greets itself:

by nature disregarding differences.

We are both of us, young and old.

The hot sand,

the cool distant sea:

soft foam imperceptibly

at the intersection.









A lonely little Spanish bull

looking for one beautiful French cow,

searching for his missing heart,

shows us a place

to share words

that open the deep heart

that make eyes shine into eyes,

that make a soul find its way.

Dancing, we celebrate love's gifts

which cannot be comprehended

but are often diminished,

for only love celebrates love;

only love remembers it.

How weak are words

to express love's rivers

and all the dancing elements;

yet how magical are words

as love flows through.

We cry, for a delicious moment,

in the wild excess of truths our hearts know —

and the gift passes,

submerged in the dim waters of actualities.

Two souls are once more alone, each in their own body.

A lonely little Spanish bull

is still walking slowly somewhere,

eating grass at his leisure,

dreaming behind half-closed eyes,

defying with his muscles and his stare,

marching as sure as the shift of seasons

towards his missing heart,

towards one cow

he beautifully imagines

waiting for him somewhere

on the green hills

of France.






Winding through the mountains

on a little back road

we came around a bend

and there he was,

so small, so full of spunk,

a baby fox, red as fish gills,

running away and towards us

at the same time, so uncertain

without his mamma,

so tender and untried.

We stopped my little car

and he ran up the hill towards us.

We got out and he retreated,

light as feathers, with little starts

and leaps, watching, wanting,

fearing, not knowing, concerned.

We got back into my car and rolled

back down the hill. He ran ahead

and stopped, on the very edge of the road.

I rolled up next to him, and there he was,

just a few feet from us,

sitting behind one thin blade of grass

which stood in front of his nose,

his round, shinny black innocent eyes

peering at us on either side.

"He thinks heÕs hiding," I said

and we laughed and laughed.

He watched us from behind

the grass blade until I got out

and he skipped over the edge of the road

and disappeared in the dark trees

off into his journey, so young

to survive.








After the spirit opens,

(hands lifted to sky),

a woman's egg falls

into a cold mountain stream;

then the gaze of love

that gives innocence.

A little boy, a young girl:

speech as natural as grass.

Clouds cover the sun

yet the shadow passes.

How warm and sweet

is innocence,

as warm and sweet

as God.

How beautiful the healer

and the soul healed.

Goodness flows into goodness

like fragrant flowers falling

into the warm breath of hay.

Years of longing for the comfort...

Oh, to be purely held.

If fingers won't touch,

eyes will sometimes do.

Words can also

convey kisses.










I drove through the country I had dreamed for many years:

just north of Arles, and a little to the east.

Everything seemed familiar

as if I had traveled in night dreams

with opened eyes here to France

to carefully study a place I had never been,

to record the details I was yet to see.

I saw two distant hills,

There was something clear, child-like about them,

as if invented by God just for stories,

as if once some love-crazy prince

had battled a dragon there

while the princess watched

and clapped her innocent hands for joy.

I was weak from pain, from days spent

sick in a small tent amidst cold rains

in the Pyreneess, but I had to climb,

to feel, to see, to know

if by some stroke of divine magic

this place was the place

of Pio's dreams, of Lilly's healing.

It was a slow walk, a difficult climb,

my mind distracted with pain,

my heart asking for awareness,

for color, for the music,

for a simple smile.

I came to a small hill below the hills

I had seen and turned with amazement

to the east. There was the little road

winding through the hills

where Pio had seen Lilly returning

with her birds, and beyond the road

the distant hills which she had often wandered.

I didn't want to continue, this was enough,

but the hills above beckoned:

perhaps there was more of the dream to see.

I walked through a small valley

then climbed up to the rocky, round summit

and entered the land of my heart:

there to the west lay the little valley

as I have so often seen it,

and the small farm buildings of the gruff-hearted

neighbor I invented so many miles from here,

alone in the Oregon nights.

In front of where the little white house would be

ran a gully, made for a stream;

to the east, the slopping hill where an orchard might be,

and to the south the hills rolling down to orchards

and the great flat lands which stretch to the sea:

just as I had dreamt, just as I had felt and seen.

I walked, sat, stared, tried to soak it all in,

to forget my weariness and pain,

to feel the miracle, to wonder how it could be.

The sun settled lower in the western sky,

just where I knew it would, over the garden

where Pio and Lilly and the children danced,

beyond the neighbors little house in the valley,

setting with the slow glory of patience,

in the mysterious rhythm of a manifest dream.

I gathered some stones

to remember, to celebrate,

and wished to God for a feather

on this wind scoured hill.

There was wild Rosemary. I took a handful

for a celebrative tea, but every feather

must have been blown to the sea

by the last Mistral blast.

Just as I prepared to leave

there one stood, entangled in a tiny plant,

a soft, fragile feather standing

straight up in the air

as if calling to me, as if saying

don't miss me, don't pass heedlessly by,

I am here to proclaim your fragile, soft

dream that is stronger than stone.

I laughed, and thanked Pio's God,

Lilly's wildness, the creative, dreaming Love,

the wonder I cannot fathom...

then walked back down

out of stone clouds,

out of storybooks,

out of castles that sail through sky,

out of reality

into someone else's dream.






St. Jean du Gard

September 28, 2000




Young beauty

rises from the infinite face

of Young Beauty:

deathless, breathless,

ecstatic essence,

primal light,

graceful with grace,

flowering with potential,

silent as herbs,

wet of eyes,

longing for nothing

to explode.


The rain falls:

someone is weeping

in the shadow of themselves,

someone is running

away from the sun.


Half a soul

caught in the dance of becoming:,

the young soul

kisses the old soul —

something golden

slashes through the gray.


Young beauty


rolling in mortal clay,

taking the sour grape

fully into her mouth.


The heart opens in silence —

a window to nowhere:

Everything is shining.

The mind opens in silence

to dance with words.


Young beauty

paints her image

with a straw brush

upon a canvass of sky.

I smell wet herbs

and laugh

for there are arms around me:

I so young, and she so old,

I dying, and she welcoming

me home.






September 29, 2000




Crazy howls:

night falls through her mind.

Crazy singing,

falsetto choruses

wild undulations,

a soul disrobing.

A seed blindly pushes

its way through black mud,

sensing unseen light,

the gold above.

Crazy howls:

night falls through her mind.

Her heart wrestles with dark angels;

her mind splays open

into peace.

And in her face,

some sunshine has rubbed

its warm color

into her skin;

her eyes laugh and shine.









Crazy singing, shouting to the sky,

poetry happening

in the glance of an eye.

Spinning and singing,

skipping hand in hand,

understanding without

even trying to understand.

Laughter keeps happening

in the dance of her mind,

she's found in the act

of seeking to find.

Crazy fullness,

sunshine in her eye,

body holding grass and stones,

spirit singing sky



It started as just a happy walk,

hand in hand, swinging arms, laughing.

And laughter grew in the love

that walked in us

up a green, winding hill

towards a promise of blue.

A little mountain, green in the mist

and a hawk, motionless between two winds.

It started with yellow patches of cloud

amidst a sea of gray,

then, a soft cloud of color:

a smear of beauty like a corsage

on a rosy dress of sky.

Rainbows and birds,

a little dog happy in its ways--

and the sky was busy burning beyond us:

light held in the sensual breasts and bellies

of surrealistic clouds.

Red sky, red hair, a beautiful heart

asking to see the Face of God.

Perhaps it was the beauty

that made these two French women

giddy with life and song:

three pigs singing,

chicken clucks, cow moos,

my dear little Christmas duck.

No smoke nor brew

can match the joy of natural drunkenness.

And as we walked arm in arm,

holy children half mad with rivers of words,

darkness fell

as light grew.





St. Jean du Gard

September 30, 2000




She is one of those abandoned ones,

born lonely into this world,

full of fight: infused with some unknown strength

that comes through the stars,

from the warm color of the sun.

She holds her head high,

not out of ignorant, adolescent pride,

but from a deep, pure dignity

that comes from the songs of birds

in her humble heart.

She is a royal child,

born by the winds

across wild white seas,

carried by the voice of deer,

held by the strong arms of God.

If you see her, tell her that I love her

like I love the snow, like I love the waves of the sea,

like I love the golden voice that called my name.

Tell her that I would give her a child,

that I would heal the earth with her,

that I would sing her soul in a thousand poems,

that I would paint her face on canvass

with the colors of the sun.

Tell her that if she is lonely,

if the little child in her is cold and wanting comfort,

if the dark world draws too close,

that she can climb into the warm nest of love

I spin for her in my prayers, that she can stand strong

in the light of God's love for her

pouring through my heart.






October 7, 2000





I recommend that for two months every year

you run wild in creation;

that you become naked and primal;

that you run through forests and pasturelands,

mountains and sea shores:

and there, amidst pine trees and brambles,

wild herbs and scrub brush,

lilacs and laurels,

in waves and in rivers,

howling with the wind and searching the stars

you light the seven flames of God

within your body

until your whole body sings

and your mind clears like mountain pools;

your heart opens like wild flowers;

and your desire to live fully in love becomes stronger

than your strongest aversions:

then your emotions will open to flow like rivers;

your passions become innocent as children

and God’s primal ecstasy will shimmer through your being

as the crown of your heard lifts up

like two doors of the sun

to let the warm flame of God

seep and soak your brain and body

until through your voice is born

such energy of words and songs,

such freedom and forgiveness,

such passions of peace,

such wisdom as poetry,

such laughter and leaping,

such sorrow and sighing,

such compassion and creation

as to inspire one soul,

someone, somewhere,

into kindredness of desire,

into vision and emotion

which impels them to take  two months a year

to run wild in creation; become naked and primal;

running through forests and pasturelands;

mountains and sea shores

and there, amidst pine trees and brambles,

wild herbs and scrub brush,

lilacs and laurels,

in rivers and waves

they might howl with the wind and search through the stars

lighting the seven flames of God

within their body

until their whole body sings

and their mind clears like mountain pools;

their heart opens like wild flowers;

their desire to live fully in love becomes stronger

then their strongest aversions;

as their emotions open to flow like rivers;

their passions becomes innocent as children

and God’s primal ecstasy shimmers through their being

until the crown of their heard lifts up

like two doors of the sun

to let the warm flame of God

seep and soak both brain and body

until through their voice is born

such energy of words and songs,

such freedom and forgiveness,

such passions of peace,

such wisdom as poetry,

such laughter and leaping,

such sorrow and sighing,

such compassion and creation

as to inspire one soul,

someone, somewhere,

into kindredness of desire,

into vision and emotion

which impels them to take two months a year


run wild in creation; become naked and primal...







October 14, 2000 Tarn



(A Song)


Feathers and chestnuts,

sea shells and stones,

old churches to pray in

silent, alone:

sitting half in the sunshine

and half in the night,

half naked in shadows,

half blinded  by light .

A rugged old country,

red cows in the lane,

a little fox running,

the color of flame.

Mists on the mountains,

wild hawks in the trees

a faint song of freedom

in the gray of the breeze.

Slowly my face

turns the texture of stone,

old village walls

and a mystical moon;

slowly my soul

finds the path of the wind

deep in the dark

of a wintry wood.

Chickens and berries

and goats in the grass,

silence and singing

of a love that passes

out into memory

with barely a sigh,

sweet in the shadow

of an opening eye.

Without a glimmer,

bereft of all reason,

seasons are passing

into a season

when minds melt down

to the roots of the heart

where music and madness

and ecstasy start.

Feathers and chestnuts,

sea shells and stones,

old churches to pray in

silent, alone:

sitting half in the sunshine

and half in the night,

half naked in shadows,

half blinded  by light .



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