the housing market (20220414)

snails are rare here

they were everywhere
in southern california
especially after a good rain
they'd exit flower beds
and rock gardens
meet up on the sidewalk
to discuss the imminent
end of the world

here it is slugs
banana, leopard,
dark black ones like oozing wet
chocolate caramels

i find a snail on the driveway
solitary
carrying his refuge
his defenses
on his back

or maybe his burden is light

he takes a trip to the grass
just in case the robins are interested
in entertaining a guest at breakfast

i look for him later
but I do not see him
a trail of glistening nail snot
he has taken his house and moved on
without so much as a "for sale" sign

carols (20161220)

christmas carols play on the radio
a classical station
so i don’t get to
hear any bing, frank, mel, or elvis

one wall separates my office
from the garage
allowing me to hear
the washing machine draining
the dryer spinning
tossing clothes on the eco-cycle

i lower my head
to the desk
and strain to hear
domestic music
but it’s all horns
and violins
and the dog obsessively
cleaning his paw

Poem 20150524

the sky is blue
but it’s not the same blue
and the clouds are high
but not as high
or as white
and the air is cold
but not as thin or dry
and sits heavy in the lungs

already
the day is filled
with going and doing
and not enough being

one walk
one attempt to sustain
has us finding a lizard
carelessly killed
and grieved only by
the mourning of doves
the buzzing of insects
and the two of us
placing him in the shade
so that he won’t be hit again

i wonder how different here
can be from there
where signs warn
not to step on cryptobiotic soil
and here the lizard
with his beautiful blue stomach
couldn’t move fast enough
in a world moving much too fast