Wet Embrace

When it rains on the island
there is wholeness
in the water-soaked air,
my body at home
in the wet embrace
of gray sky and low clouds,
rain dripping from the eaves.



Waldron Tulips


Something Like Joy

I slept through most of the big wind,
tall trees swaying like grass,
rain lashing the cabin dark.
In the morning no motion,
the ocean’s mood changed in a heartbeat,
leaves so still in the madrone
they could be sleeping.
Asleep or awake the earth goes on,
the tide ebbing once more,
yet something has changed.
The delicate branches of ocean spray,
the gulls arc and turn to the sun
and something like joy
hiding in the thorns like a bird,
wings fluttering, then gone
in a flash of bright color.



World Almost New

When the storm passed
light awakened the coastline
gray and shrouded,
sharp with detail
as if its place in the world
suddenly came to life.
The cabins, the old dock,
even the gulls in flight,
the world almost new
with the storm’s passing,
as if sorrow were over
and we could begin again.



Waiting in the Shadows

Poetry is a private affair
born from the dark
in the embrace of silence;
no one around to watch,
just you and a few words
waiting in the shadows,
loitering in the dark
like hungry lovers.





Keeper of the Circle

(for my grandmother)

Julia kept the circle,
her love against the chaos
of the genie from his bottle,
released on all their plans
except the one in her heart.
No innocent fancy,
but raw desire
burning for a future
writ in the ancient tongue,
spoken to the gods
ruthless and unafraid.
Not a gentle lamb
but she wolf,
protective of her own,
her womb the only wealth,
the blood sacrifice given many times
for her children and their children.
Her dreams alive in our bones,
keeping the circle
in the green land beyond,
watching over us, vigilant,
fierce and unafraid.



Julia, Dorothy & Helen, 1940

Julia with daughters Dorothy and Helen, NYC 1940