Wednesday, August 31, 1983



in the kingdom of the blind,
the one eyed man is a freak.


Saturday, August 27, 1983



My grandmother, they planted lilies
at the foot of your bed
before I understood the meaning of loss.
A chill in the air puts summer to rest.
White against the moon, an owl takes flight
across the valley & the echo of his cry
scatters light from the stars.

To the dancers, we leave our feathers of return flight.
The small candles of barn owl feathers drift down
from the moon's edge to light the way for your feet.
The slow breathing of soil before the frost
leaves a faint trail like the undeciphered tracks of mice in snow.
This is why we dance on the graves of our grandmothers.

The earth spreads sonorous wings over you,
shakes rubies from her blood
& your long dark hair tumbles swift like a waterfall
until it turns white in the garden of your grandchildren.
& the night horses who pasture in your hair
all turned east, toward that softer danger, the sun.

At dawn the white rooster crows over sand dunes,
leaving an echo almost tasted on the tongue.
He crows, Gallo, gallo, gallo blanco.
The web that connects us moves slowly.
Wind in the cottonwoods marks a passage of time.
When my best friend was killed by a horse,
you said, “Think of all the death in the trees
and in the fields in fall.”
The rooster cried, “My insides return to earth
so that my life may continue,”
before the axe swung.

My grandmother, now I know the earth receives us.
She watches the flowers of her children catch fire in the wind.
She kindles our slow bones so they too
will send roots down deep & drink from the stream.
She stands at the lintel with arms open wide,
waiting for us to return home
so she can close the door.

The return to earth is a quiet song
when water trickles down after the storm.

rev. 86
this was from reading three grandfather poems in a New Mexico magazine, by Rudolfo Anayar, Estévan Arellano, and EA Mares. I later changed it to reflect my grandmother.

1990 Red Bluff Daily News, July 23
1988 Green Fuse
1986-88 Falling to Sea Level
1986 Under the Bridge of Silence
1983 Across the Generations


Mi abuelo, plantaron los lirios  
al pie de tu cama  
antes de que yo entendiera  
el sentido de la pérdida.  
El aíre frio entierra al verano.

Blanco contra la luna, un buho alza el vuelo  
a través de la valle y el eco de su grito  
esparce la luz de las estrellas.

A los bailiadores dejamos nuestras plumas del vuelo de vuelta.  
Las velitas de plumas de buho flotan a la deriva  
desde el filo de la luna para aluzar el camino de tus pies.

El aliento despacio del suelo ante la escarcha  
deja huellas ligeras como rastros indecifrados  
de los ratones en la nieve.  
Por eso bailamos en las tumbas de nuestros abuelos.

La tierra extiende alas sonor as sobre tí,  
sacude los rubís de su sangre  
y tus cabellos largos v negros se caen rápida como cascada  
hasta volverse blancos en los jardines de tus nietos.

Y los caballos de noche, que pastorean en tus cabellos  
todos miraban hacia el oriente—
hacia ese peligro mas suave, el sol.

En el alba, el gallo blanco cacarea sobre la arena  
dejando un eco que casi se saborea en la lengua.  
Cacarea, "gallo, gallo, gallo blanco."

La tela que nos relaciona se mueve despacio.  
El viento en los álamos marca un pasaje del tiempo.

Cuando mi mejor amiga la mató un caballo,  
dijiste, piensa en toda la muerte en los árboles  
y en los campos del otono.

El gallo gritaba, "Mis adentros regresan a la tierra  
para que la viad continúe," antes de la hacha se cayera.

Mi abuelo, yo sé ahora que la tierra nos recibe.  
Mira las flores de sus hijos encenderse en el viento.  
Lentamente incendia nuestros huesos para que ellos también  
envíen las raices hasta lo profundo y beban del corriente.  

Se para en el dinltel con los brazos abiertos  
esperando hasta que volvamos  
para que cierre la puerta.

La vuelta a la tierra es una canción quieta  
cuando el agua discurre después de ia tormenta.
  —traduccion John Oliver Simon

1986-88 Falling to Sea Level

Friday, August 19, 1983

Isis Oasis Resort reading, Lee Perron, Maureen Hurley, Zara Altair, Kit Aldrich, Patty Truxaw, Mickey Sheehan


Poetry class on August 21 at Isis Oasis

The Isis Oasis Poetry Workshop convenes again on Sunday, Aug. 21 on the grounds of the Isis Oasis Lodge in Geyserville. The Isis workshop is an open gathering of Sonoma County language artists This month's agenda includes: "Unplanned Poetry," a community of words led by Mickey Sheehan and Patsy Truxaw: and readings by Russian River poets Lee Perron, Maureen Hurley,Zara Altaire and Truxaw. Actor, poet and musician Kit Aldrich will use the workshop to introduce and rehearse his latest work, a mixed media dada troubadour experiment. Sheehan and Terry Boucher plan to act out their favorite scene from Inherit the Wind. Tommy Thompson and Michael Welch may also attend the event. The Isis workshop is open to the public and both participants and observers are encouraged to attend. The group will be discussing the possibility of organizing a chamber music/poetry/fine wine afternoon during a Sunday in the fall. Anyone interested in reading or participating on Isis Poetry Sundays may either show up or call Truxaw at 433-1907 or Sheehan at 433-5835 for more information.

Saturday, August 13, 1983


Marguerites growing
amid the marble soils of Crete.
Amid the large columns of bones.
Marguerites strewn across the soil of Crete
blooming between marble columns
and the bones of the temples.
Marguerites holding the clouds up
and keeping the sky at bay.

added 10/16

Friday, August 12, 1983


1. Saturn’s prodigal return straight from the heart,
the light well dips silver ink from the moon,
a nightly repetition of black time,
countless nights of washing
The seahorse cracked like a Crab Nebula.
Best eaten cold on ice.
Light, the silent snowfall of stars
whose silver lining is in question.

2. I saw the mountains on the edge of the moon
casting 10,000-foot shadows
into an empty Sea of Tranquility.
Space maps, interstellar dust, meteor showers
on the backside of the moon.
Perseus complained in a binary language.
What of the spacial folds in the Milky Way?
Who is blessing the Southern Cross,
was there really something to the back
side of the moon?

3. What is the color of blood in the dark?
Women’s blood is thicker than men’s.
Each month we try to hold onto it.
What oracles will the trees listen to
after all the leaves fall?
My tears become like leaves
and flow away and whole forests
have been decimated.
The earth is still bleeding
and we are always thirsty.

No date, 1983, probably the Perseid showers, So, August 12.

Thursday, August 4, 1983


              —for Jim Byrd

Our canoe rounded a sheltered river bend—
collecting calm emerald water
'til it glistened in a slow, curved smile.
The towering trees punctuated its mirrored speech.

From our raised paddles words escaped—
unannounced as water droplets
spawning concentric ripples
in an undulating desire towards shore.

Who is naming these silent tremblings,
sneaking up, canoe-like along the river,
where,  coming down for their evening drink,
our hearts stopped,  afraid to slake their thirst?

Who will stand guard over them
so they can safely come down to the shore
and ask the river where the trees stop
and the reflection begins?
Through the trees the wind is trickling.
Only the shore answers in a slow, curved smile.

added 10/16

Monday, August 1, 1983



In the moonlight,
I will cook fish




From the campfire, flames leap and dance
as if the devil's fiddle were made of smoke.
A cigarette dangles from the gypsy's mouth.

The earth pushes up a cornerstone
in a slow rotation of silence.
The thin red wailing of a siren
heralds the dusk in another part of town.

She stops to light her cigarette.
The horses lean toward her,
hungry for tobacco.