background image
late february
The man down the creek owns a fruit tree
on which the white blossoms have just appeared
directly on the bare, red wood; how
they shine against the tree shadows
behind them -- unaware that they are classic
Chinese plum blossoms ... their owner
is idle, white-haired, and in manner
unlike the people in the plum blossom
poems: he nods to me with a look that says
he knows something about what I think
(which is not the fact), when in the evening
he saunters past with his basset hound.
scribbling poems on a visit home
Poor little bastards, is
no provision being made
for their future?
They just scatter like beans --
the pod splits and curls back
spring-like, and out they fl y
during these dry August afternoons
while the tremendous, dazzling thunderheads
white as the original white
of creation, build up in the west
like the springtime fathers that drenched
fi elds they knew not at all,
and passed through never to return.
August 27, 1967