Posts in Category: California

Bird of Paradise


The Bird of Paradise
is an outrageous plant…
the flower a mockery of sense.

That excessive pointy purple thing
with tiny useless wings and
the threatening white needle tip
rides up over, springs like a surprise party
from an unnecessarily bright orange flame
of, what…petals? bracts?…some
extravagant conflagration of blossom

that leaves the mind reeling,
completely stupefied,
and really quite amazed,

astonished at the beauty…

the beauty that
(after all is said and done)
is, undeniably,
the Bird of Paradise.



“That is not red,”
she said,

           is a Hibiscus
beaded with rain


and bleeding light!”

Preventive Medicine 2


Is it time again
for a dose of Redwoods?

Do I need to stand deep
in a grove of giants
and breathe myself small,
smaller, until I can
feel awe again,
until the breath…
         the slightest breath
of glory leakng
through the callused
skin, the rough bark,
of the world
makes me shiver?

Makes me sing above
the silence
like the wind so
high in the Redwood tops?

Lighthouse Stair


The old lighthouse on Point Loma
has a narrow, twisty stair
right up the center,
like living in a sea-shell…

And I am certain
when the storm raged
over the Point
in the days when it was
half a day’s journey
back along the ridge,
on horseback or by wagon,
and around the bay
to San Diego…

it was like being in
a shell caught in the serf:
never certain if the next
wave would be your last…

And yet the keeper kept
the light
at the top of that stair



#picturepoem #birds #hummingbirds

The Anna’s sits on the branch tip
at Famosa Slough in San Diego,
chirps, chipps, chatters,
so uncharacteristic for a hummingbird,
so perfectly Anna’s.

And then it turns it’s head:
the sun lights the gorget,
flames the tiny feathers
of the full face helmet.


So. Now you got my attention!



The first in a  series of #picturepoems featuring birds.

The Song Sparrow sits
and sometimes sings
on Red Hot Poker Aole
atop the San Diego sea-cliff,
above the crashing surf,
a song so loud
so insistent so alive,
it makes the poker blush
and turns me bodily
from Sea Lion views:
face to face with such urgency,
so much vibrance, such assurance,
it can only be, however unlikely,  
a Song Sparrow.




Sunset in a downpour in San Diego
beautiful in its rarity, like a vision of another land,
another imperfect life, overlaid on paridise…

Of course they need the rain,
are somewhat desperate for the rain…
but this washing, this drenching
street and gully flooding downpour
shocks San Dieagens, sets cars skidding,
like snow in Atlanta, so the city
trembles…people scurry,
and there is a sudden run on
umbrellas at all the stores.