My Best Moment All Summer

My son made 100 baskets,
really quite a feat, for
he’s not a natural athlete.
He stood in the sun
and watched the rim, again
and again and again. Mostly
he missed, but that was
no matter, because he never
quit. And after many minutes
over an hour, in fact,
he drained his last bucket,
arms triumphant in the air.
I hugged him very close
my best moment all summer

House Says Goodbye

It is only a house, wood, paint, single pane glass windows,
but ten years pass and it is no longer ours, no longer

that two-story blanket that covered us in our laughter,
held our bare feet on floorboards that knew our family’s

groove, from Gangnam Style to I ain’t your mama, no I
ain’t your mama, not anymore. Sold, our Spanish

American War casa, Victorian era, master bedroom in
the San Francisco fog, where I daydreamed through

tree leaves and power lines, pondered this and that, scribbled,
loved and prayed on dark rainy nights. This place held

us in moments, just moments that always go on to the next,
the goodbye was always waiting, we left and it said hello.

He Pretends To Be A Poet

He pretends to be a poet, but does he even like poetry?
Sawgrass shallows, dark forests and trellises, the
language of description, erudition, evoked through so
much longing to be heard, to be read. But what does

it mean? Instead, he writes about what he knows,
which most nights seems like not a lot, sometimes silence
or that most mundane of all arts, parenting, being a dad,
or he reads half pages of zen books while munching on

frozen blueberries, while trying to remember the pickup time
for ballet. No, he doesn’t live in Paris or London, or
New York, although San Francisco is a writerly city, that frigid
foggy place where he was once young, and a real poet

in his studio apartment with Chinese takeout night after night,
the J Church train rumbling, urban soundtrack mixed with
Sonny Rollins, oh yes, he was cool, back in the day, but now
he sits in the kitchen, barefoot, wondering where his socks are.

Camp Fire California 2018

all the air isn’t air
ashes, dusty bones, charred remains
houses gone in flames
owners up with wind
Paradise lost

all the air isn’t air
hangs like fog, toxic smog
i can’t see the bridge, they say
san franciscans miles away
Paradise lost

all the air isn’t air
masks they wear masks
white covered faces after
the climate changed
Paradise lost

all the air isn’t air
endless clicking on screens
will the forecast change?
smoke only smoke
Paradise lost

Walking Into Walgreens

they usually know
what they want
the gum or
shiny People Magazine

others walk the
aisles, an activity
to pass the
time in fluorescent

lights, examine lipsticks
red and pink,
most days there
is a man

sometimes a woman
who sits out
front, any help?
it is both

question and statement
they are usually
ignored except for
those few who

drop quarters in
the old coffee
cup, thank you
they say, and

customers smile before
looking for cuticle
scissors or deodorant
to smell better

this is all
normal at Walgreens
in San Francisco
maybe other places

Noe Valley, San Francisco

Once the Irish, the Germans, the workers pressed together, clustered little Victorians, where they were born, lived, then died. Now babies in strollers, babies pressed against mom, against dad, toddlers wobbling, wide blocks of deconstructed, reconstructed, houses, pasted photos, smiling women and men, realtors, listing, listed, selling, sold. White buses, elevated people, wearing laptops like blankets, heading south to touch more technology. Hilly hills, wisps of fog, oceanic clouds, permanent winter like they say Twain said. Past and present commingle in gusts of wind, September summers, sometimes rain and rainbows.