and the coyote knows
what happens when you’re not there.
I used to think the land
had something to say to us,
back when wildflowers
would come right up to your hand
as if they were tame.
Now the moth can stop
beating his head
hopelessly against the lampshade,
and I can forget about words that won’t come.
Oh, Lord, Most High,
You surely must have thought
I needed permanent protection, and
I do thank you for the intricate
design I am told I wear on my back.
I only wish this house I carry
did not weigh quite so much.
This is the season of sourgrass,
shy, lovely, beside the driveway.
Hanna gathers the stalks in her arms
like so many sheaves of daffodils
across her shoulder, green, gold.
A very little thing is rolling
down the street at dawn,
some little yellow thing, a lemon,
rolling down the center
of the street from the little
grove just up the hill.
There is a girl reading on the lawn.
Last week a cypress tree fell where she lies.
Now there is grass, and peace—the tree is gone.
And there’s a girl reading on the lawn.
Monkeyflower crowds the foot of a waterfall
(those buttercup faces, up to something),
and a dipper flies the bends of the creek
down to a veil of mountain hemlock.
Just after Groundhog Day, summer begins
in Santa Barbara. Keen smells of blossoms
layer the air, the yellow bloom of mustard
weed and sourgrass and acacia fulfilling
their own prophecy on every side.