background image
away from the road 9
gradations of light and shadow
to be watched for in their interiors --
quick-moving, elegant poems, though.
He was one of the crowd of us vets
on campuses right after the war.
He kept to the edges, was of us
but not among us. His laconic
observations -- off ered quietly with
his hands in his pockets as always
(we never saw him with a book) -- were admired,
not least for their genial and ever-
inventive use of the meager stock
of the stale obscenities in soldier talk.
None of us could say just when
he left that campus, on its hill
above the then pleasant city,
across which we could see, through
the then clear air, the blue Rockies
looking near. You could fi nd his poems
back there, in the library basement fi les --
that is, if the fi les still exist.
May, 1994
Han Shan, old, in three poems
has written my own life for me
and left me with nothing to do.