Thursday, June 3, 2010


In the morning, before I could see, I listened.
The West’s fragrance rose off the ebbing tide.

A chorus of sea-gulls gathered on a thick raft of sea-kelp
inside the offshore reef.

A young buck’s hoof-beats paused on the bluff-trail.
Quail rustled the bunch grass.

There was more—

Gray whales rolled southward, along migratory songlines,
to calve in Baja’s warm lagoons,

pelicans rode the bluff-winds northward,
toward the mouth of the Gualala,

where salmon schooled in the river’s slack water
before pressing upstream to spawn.

And when first light broke the East’s dark silence,
it was the tolling of an ancient bell.

(My poem, "What I Didn't See," was first published in Susussurus: The Sacramento City College Literary Journal)