In Lieu of Hours

radar loops of crawling showers
clouds seen through the window, look

I watch them as the daylight sours
and take a break to read a book

now drenching all tomorrow’s flowers
best to stay inside and cook

it comes as rain in lieu of hours
the time I freely gave, it took

The Thingularity

my barber asked if I believed in evolution
“I didn’t come from no ape,” he said

I told him he came from his mother
that we all come from our mothers
although it is the paternal line
that everyone seems to focus on

my own mother, Christian, a Catholic
settled the matter when she said
that God used evolution to create us

she was a peace-maker, not a theologian

I do not have the body of my ten-year-old self
any more, but it does look a lot like
the one I had yesterday

the world of appearances percolates up
from somewhere, one supposes, in
a kind of maternal line with things
pregnant with the possibility

of thing-cum-thing, of change itself
whatever on earth that means

I get suspicious of things
when they start to seem too important
and I remember, one day a stranger

saw me all worked up and rushing around
in an aggravated bustle
and said, “relax”

Cattle, Egret

On a drive to Smith Point hawk watch a couple of years ago, still early in the day. Most livestock does not have it this good. If you can call being raised to the slaughter a good thing.

We like our steaks.

I bet cows have some poems in them, or maybe some blues tunes. I think of time passing I think of the poems that slip away unwritten.

A wordless moment, with the sun in back, and low. Cattle egret waiting for a bull to move and stir up some insects, or maybe a grass snake.

They like their snakes.

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you like rope swings
and graham cracker brownies

can’t decide on a favorite color but
in the lavender of the jacaranda in bloom

a certain message seems to be hidden
signs that say open come in

cigar smoke a little bit, not too much
and gut laughs where you think

you’re never going to breath again or
a two-year-old picks you out of the crowd

and hits you with a big cheeky grin
catching yourself lost in thought

you can easily live with your regrets
the mail order shoes, they fit

right out of the box, the order
and safety of things in their containers

you mitigate with words when things get awkward
always a day late to get the joke

and oh the food, the meals, how we
measure the time by working, feeding

coffee, coffee like long wet kisses
and cold brick-hard stick butter

ripping gashes in warm toast
long lazy mornings and that spell

comes over you when the book you finish
ends strong and ends true

call it an honest living
but for the parts squandered in distraction

it’s all good, enough with the edits
these uncorrected proofs are ready to call it a day