A Galapagos Lad
Rafael whistles a vermilion flycatcher to us
bright scarlet male
ascending green branch by green branch.
Rafael grew up on these strange islands
learned the language of its birds
and of undersea creatures.
He speaks to sea lions
imitates their comical walk
swims in their wake.
He knows the caves of sharks—
The Galapagos lad inhabits
These wild volcanic wastes
Rafael at home in this wild place.
Air Earth Fire Water
A misty drizzle falls over
enters every living thing
thimble berries I pick from the roadside—
berries red, soft, tender
stain my fingers red
flood my tongue with tang.
Water seeps into leaves, grass, me.
I’m as damp as the black crenulated slug
crossing the forest path with deliberate gravity.
Under a lush green cedar bough I lean
on its stout rough trunk—
I feel the qi in flowing through every living thing
and in water, minerals, earth and from
sun cupped golden marsh marigolds.
A sweetness breathes from pink rose hedges,
chicory stands sentinel for my blue longings.
Ferns breathe green ideas
From graceful filigrees.
Mist falls on an unseen singer haunting
the forest canopy with an unearthly scales of notes.
Imbued, baptized networks of roots under
my boots know I am here—the news
travels all the way down to the salty Sound.
Octopus, seals, sea otters hear the news.
They know my love of them and the gray whale
I greeted in the Baja last winter breaches
Its great body as it looks shoreward.
We are all joined in this joy.
Solar winds tuned ancient lyres—
Bright fires burned in the eyes of wolves
As their tremolos entered hidden waters
Where little brown bats dipped over secret lakes.
Lunar mists in a minor key hid them all from sight.
I thought I heard those ancient lyres
As I wandered the woods last night.
Buckeyes, red admirals,
And orange monarchs
Fan their wings
Then float away.
With compound eyes
Buzz In yellow poppies.