First Lines

Lines are links

A cat allowed her table scraps
A creek whose gush
A flourish of blossom and bloom
A flower in flight, the hummingbird 
A German shored up in the highlands of Michoacán
A red-tail hawk lifts off
À Sarreguemines en France
A snap can’t catch them but the eye can see

Abraham, when called upon
After tossing and turning I cloak up
At the end of every storm we’ve grown used to
Big trees grew smaller, small ones big
Call it Indian winter

Capitachouane, Saskatchewan: tchewan means river
Climbing the fence to your cemetery
Dawn at Delphi. Goat bells clustering
Day sheds its sheath of light
Death is Greek to me, a tongue I must learn
Der Tod ist uns Bahnhof
Dichten ist schrecklich
Die Sternbilder sind leer
Don’t say in what suburb live Lea or Jill
Down the well I threw a stone. No splash returned
Dreams, they say, repeat till understood

Drowsiness. A travel book. Stone bastions
Early or late you woke
Earth for others, home is scaffolding
Earthlings we are, so clouds we keep making
Ein Zündholz, dessen Flamme

Flashes of chaff in the sweet summer night
For Ulli and Claudia

Forty is when to build a house
From sleep the foiled lover fought
High in the Sierra the Interstate
Hold still, I know it hurts
How lucky water freezes
I don’t want anyone to know
I saw Mother, captive gorilla

I suffer Father’s infirmities, gas, bad back
I want no stone nor gilded urn
I was a boy myself once so don’t need
It took years
Ich komme aus dem Staunen nicht mehr heraus
Imaginary you!  You are not what I think
In honour of Bloom, the house will supply
In that forest too sad for birds

Is that a boy or a girl?
Landing at night on a motherboard
Last weekend an old friend of my age
Let that robin come down like an idle thought
Light scatters through frail leaves in bay windows 

Like a pesky gnat waking me from a nap
Loss of memory short-term — a boon in disguise!
Loud as a plane overhead he heard his own thoughts
Memory is
Mother taught me to fry an egg when I was fifteen
Mon chat protocolaire attend patiemment
Moist Maoist
Must I find my body in a book

My gawky juvenilia, inspired by vernal bliss
Not unlike Provence, this sheen off a sea
Not sloth but thought of you keeps me abed
Nothing special can be done for us now
O bulbous periwinkle, sunk in sodden goldenrod
Of the winding paths the mind’s eye

On the less off than before
Once they are with me I know they belong
Open wide the window which gives to the sun
Our self-restraint appalls me

Parchment parasols. Butterflies along the path
Poetry is sometimes too much with us 
Partial eclipse this afternoon 
Pistachios of the sea piled high in heaps
Poor moth, flown in a door left ajar
Quälend aus der Puppe 

Rainbows burgeoned over the old apricot
Raised with roaches, I warmed to the tropics
Rare, the shrill coyote bark’s become
Rocks are the way to the river 

Sad to be a child
Simplicity. Ease. We come together
Sit still during earthquakes
So the shutter not stir and shame you
So this is what looking old is
Steam from the power plant, vapourising

Strange act of love, this rambling enumeration
Time is an illusion God
The answer is yes. Real, too

The apples blossomed first. The old apricot’s
The gauze frost has laid
The moon is warm tonight
The Russian she spoke could have been Persian
The sun rounds a fulcrum fixed
Then she left, undoing strands twined by hand

They snipped out my tubes
This afternoon has the weight of crumb
Through Michoacán where clouds make up
Tomatillo in Nahuatl was tomātl
Turns out he is a sweet enough guy
The thrush that sings at night’s returned

These marbled pinkish beans are beautiful
This afternoon has the weight of crumb
Thrice this dreary winter I’ve dreamed
Trapped in sleep, we must attend to dream
Turn not your eyes, leaves though they be

Was I more psycho- than sociopath?
We who left home, left before we knew it
What has grazed against the sky and left
We who speak of aging as a curse

Wet pavement, jazz, some place to beat off
We went to spot a trogon and I began to hum
What is not ephemera?

When it comes to incinerating
When you feel like a fish, check the weather to see

Where do sunflowers turn after dark?
Who knows mid what clatter
Why does purr rhyme with fur?

Write woman’s words on water swift
You make me focus. I’ve never been flung afar
Young, I hadn’t the faintest notion
Vor dem trockenen Grünen Veltliner