Patience is wider than one once envisioned

Although I posted this poem by the ever sharp and insightful Kay Ryan (1945-) many years ago, I keep finding my way back to it these days. May we all find and sustain the patience we need for this difficult moment in time.

Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz. Photo by me, 2015.


Patience is
wider than one
once envisioned,
with ribbons
of rivers
and distant
ranges and
tasks undertaken
and finished
with modest
relish by
natives in their
native dress.
Who would
have guessed
it possible
that waiting
is sustainable—
a place with
its own harvests.
Or that in
time’s fullness
the diamonds
of patience
couldn’t be
from the genuine
in brilliance
or hardness.


All that glitters isn’t music.

After a dear friend lent me Eduardo Corral’s 2012 debut collection, Slow Lightening, it took me months to return it–and for good reason


“To the Angelbeast”

for Arthur Russell

All that glitters isn’t music.

Once, hidden in tall grass,
I tossed fistfuls of dirt into the air:
doe after doe of leaping.

You said it was nothing
but a trick of the light. Gold
curves. Gold scarves.

Am I not your animal?

You’d wait in the orchard for hours
to watch a deer
break from the shadows.

You said it was like lifting a cello
out of its black case.