Category Archives: 70s

Not a statue

We ran trips
              in the park
                  overlooking paradise,
    lost our way
               when every way was equal
forgot God
           while praising Him,
     thought we were
                 our shadows
         in the midst
   of all this light.

Then she swam
            in a man-made lake
       while I meditated
              by a man-made stream.

Little children
            crossed a bridge
                                  to me.
    “Come here! It’s a statue!”
          “No, he’s sleeping.”
                           “Touch him.”
  “No, you touch him.”
              His skin moves
                     when I touch him.
     He’s not a statue.”


Medicine Bundle

In 1971 Rolf asked me to drive him to the Greyhound depot in Sacramento so he could turn himself in to the police. He’d killed a heroin dealer in a shootout protecting his former wife and child. He didn’t want to return to Santa Fe as a prisoner. I made a medicine bundle to renew his mojo and wrote this poem.

Take down these things from the Shaman’s tree –
three hairs from a brave white dog
a thorny seed curved round in spiral form
from a place where the earth was soft as breast
two pieces of jerkey from the deer D. J. shot on his first acid trip
a bracken mushroom like a gray furry rainbow.

Go through the bag of rocks from La Playa de Buriana.
Find one that looks like the whole earth.
Lick it to be sure.
Look through the tiny shells from a beach near Algeciras.
Choose the perfect one, though all are perfect.

Take a piece of abalone shell from Schooner gulch
out of your shirt pocket
one with silver waves sweeping a silver shore.
Search in Grace’s drawer for the flowery handkerchief
she bought in Granada.
Gather everything up and tie the bundle
with the leather thong that holds your hair
a limpet shell on one end, a holey rock on the other.

Drive your friend to Sacramento to catch a Greyhound
so he can go home without handcuffs.
Listen once more to the story of the battle,
the bullets through the ear and right arm
of this flamenco guitarist and blues man.
Tell him how he taught you to see your strength
by just saying, “Man, you’re so hip!”
when you felt so seriously square.
Tell him the story of this bundle of charms.
Be silent now.
Be still.

November 1971

Rolf performing in 1963


Stereo poem for my lady

I originially performed this poem on stereotape
with two channels of words dancing back and forth.

My Lady taught me life. 
My Lady taught me love. 
My Lady taught me to be 
myself.      She feels. 
     She feels. 
     She feels. 
     Deep, deep, 
            like a bear’s bite, 
     she feels.
 My Lady sings old juke box songs 
and drinks white wine in the afternoon. 
When she drinks white wine 
she talks like a bulldozer . . . 
or a bear.  

        In a forest 
        or a prison . . . 

             My Lady hangs 
             mirrors in our house, 
             magic mirrors 
             blazing out 

My Lady’s name is Grace. 
She walks along behind the tide, 
throwing stranded starfish 
back into the water. 
She talks with clams 
before she cooks them. 
She’s kind that way. 
I think I’ll stick around 
and light her fires. 

                                     Deep, deep, 
                                     like a bear’s bite . . . 


              My Lady taught me life. 
              My Lady taught me love. 
              My Lady taught me to be 

A bear 
runs through 
her dreams. 

                         Deep, deep, 
                         like a bear’s bite . . . 

      my Lady’s laughter, 
      shapes the universe. 


my Lady’s laughter, 
shapes the universe. 
Love laughter. 
Bear’s laughter.          Magic mirrors, 
         she hangs magic mirrors 
         in our house. 
                      She talks with clams . . . 

    Love laughter. 
    Bear’s laughter. 

A bear runs 
through her dreams 
eating mother, father, 
sister and brother, 
all except My Lady. 

                          Do not 
                          leave me, 
                          says the bear. 


Magic mirrors, 
magic mirrors 
do not lie. 

                  Love laughter. 
                  Bear’s laughter. 

                                   My Lady sings 
                                   old juke box songs . . . 

Do not leave me, 
says the bear. 

                My Lady’s Hexagram 
                is K’un, The Receptive. 
                She would flourish 
                in a forest or a prison, 
                in a castle or a desert. 
                She receives life 
                wherever she is. 

Magic mirrors 
blazing out 

My Lady’s name is Grace. 


“Momma’s waiting”

Crewcut hitch-hiker held out his sign,
“Momma’s waiting.”

“My mother worries about me a lot.
If she knew I was hitching
she’d really be upset.”

“It’s okay for you to be a soldier
but not to hitch?”

“Oh, no. she called the President,
told him he shouldn’t take me.
Talked with one of his aides
at midnight. She couldn’t sleep.
She used to call my commanding officer,
you know, was I getting enough to eat?
But she means well.

“When I got out she told me
I should come right home,
my dog has pups and she needs me.
I said, “She can handle it.

But she said,
‘She’s emotionally upset,
can’t be a good mother.
The pups will grow up disturbed.”


Anna Moon’s song to the poet

You tell me we’re one,
the two of us are one,
but you keep on forgetting
I’ve got to be me
before being you.

You tell me we’re one
with your eyes soft and warm,
but you never have seen
I’ve got my own way
of being everything.

You tell we’re one.
Your words suck me in,
but you push me away
for dancing my foxtrot
while you’re trying to tango.

I tell you I’m me,
shaped with great care.
Don’t tear me down
with your mystical eyes.
I’ll find my own way.


Some Place Else

I’ll be blessed!
As I was trying
to start a poem,
                               a whatever words
               from the tip of my
                                        an ant crawled around
                               on my hand,
                  down the pen,
                                      and off it’s tip
                                                  onto the very paper
                                           I wanted
                                        to fill.

                 he’s wandering
       through the . . . . .
             by the time I write it
                                    some place

1970, on a rooftop in Andalusia