I have made this place around you

Long days spent in front of computer screens certainly make me long for trees. But it’s late and pouring outside, so tonight I venture into the forest via this poem by David Wagoner (1926-) and remind myself to stand still.


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.


then what is emptiness for

Thank you, Robert Creeley, (1926-2005) for this incredible poem.

photo of Robert Creeley

“The Language”

Locate I
love you
where in

teeth and
eyes, bite
it but

take care not
to hurt, you
want so

much so
little. Words
say everything.

love you


then what
is emptiness
for. To

fill, fill.
I heard words
and words full

of holes
aching. Speech
is a mouth.

forget that hour of meanness

The opening poem from D.A. Powell‘s Chronic. Those of you in the Bay Area should definitely come hear him read tomorrow night (February 7th) at Stanford. You will not regret it.


no picnic

plain cloth cast upon the cool banks, the mere warbling frogs

an interrupted repast, uninterrupted pile of leavings

the parallax of bodies which are and are not ours

uncomfortable shift, uncomfortable shuffle

so many of the best days seem minor forms of nearness

that easily fall among the dropseed:  a rind, a left-behind

I watched the bluejays provoke each other, eager to scrap


if I could make the world my own and be satisfied

I’d say that you did not see them, nor hear their anxious fuss

but you were watching.    I, in fact, was not


forget that hour of meanness.    we should not have been

perched on the vestige of evening, treading that same gunny cloth