A professor emerita at the University of Colorado and the author of 11 poetry books and two chapbooks, Ida Fasel celebrated her 100th birthday this year and is still writing and giving readings.  To her the words of the Psalmist may be applied:  "The righteous shall flourish as the palmtree, and grow tall as a cedar in Lebanon.  Even in old age they shall bear fruit; they shall be full of vigor and strength, to declare that the Lord is upright, my Rock in whom there is no unrighteousness." (Ps. 92)   Beginning with the first issue in 1996 of The Deronda Review's predecessor, The Neovictorian/Cochlea, Prof. Fasel's work has appeared in every issue of the magazine but two.  We are grateful for the privilege of publishing Prof. Fasel's work through the years, and hope to go on hearing her voice till 120!  To see pictures of Prof. Fasel and a list of her books, and hear her reading her poems, go to

The poems below are in the order of their appearance in our journal. -- EC




Strong as winters of spring, jonquil adjacent

            to snow;

secure as small perfect industries

            of the sea;

hidden as psalm numbers behind church columns;

suitable as the wooded corner of Wyoming

            with its stark connections,

strange as the familiar making itself known:

strong, secure, hidden; suitable, strange,

to read so far from where I am

on my side of the lamp


till I am startled – the shadow

            your page makes as it turns,

the lift of your face in the corner

            of my eye

as you wait for my look to meet yours.


What a blessed crossing, our separate ways,

in the love that moves the sun and the other stars.

Strong, secure, hidden, suitable, strange

to move lenient within another motion.

To recover quiet.






Earth, when I am supposed to hear

echoes of the first few seconds

of Big Bang, hot chunks exploding,

why the walls of Jericho instead?

When it seems as if I had no existence

before this life, why was first time

not the first time for the legends I love?


I never tire seeing God begin

to move in space like music,

telling dark from light in wind

and shadows and gleams. Odds and ends

of everything turned into something –

flowers, mosses, eohippuses.

A bird named itself by one call.

A few small stones held up the firmament.

On the sixth day, getting to man,

he took sand from river banks

close enough to hills

to smell like pines. And a woman

to be wife, mother, lady

of the finest rose quartz.

Their spines tingled to stand.

In the beginning. With his blessing.


Oh Adam, come what will

of that no-win tree,

one flesh.






            Each stair was mysteriously meant.

                                    -- John Milton


When he browses rock

does he delve in garnet's stately red,

amethyst's flowery violet, lapis'

blue ness of blue?  Does he garnish

the terraces he climbs

with chrysolyte and topaz,

inlays of amber, wheels of beryl,

a sapphire throne?


He hacks the gem from the broken

cliff face, dusky, still holding

the secret of its light.

Such care, studying the cut,

conversing with what he cuts.

He polishes and polishes

till the rub is right

and the surface gives way

to the sheen within,

a simple stone

that sings to his hand

with a knowledge so old, so vast

transparent in it is

the whole firmament

wind and water fine-worked


for time over time over time.






Almost hidden in layers of spruce

a robin sat, wary but keeping calm,

bigger round than her house.


Spill of miniature blue,

toss of shell -- did she remember?

Work of ill wind, not mine.


She sat intense in her own life

to life coming.

Her profile eye in range of mine

linked mine,

I too a lady in waiting.

Was she aware?


A manner of feeling passed between us,

on guard, on hold.

Silence like clear speech contained us,

light as light crossing

the shade of a leaf,

real as all a moment true to itself

knows of trust.


Better than words.






            Who lost/What you lost goes nowhere.

                        Nietzsche, "Vereinsamt"


He is wearing the cornflower blue turtleneck

his father brought him when he drove

600 miles to bail him out of vagrancy.

It is grimy as old-painting blue; the jeans

torn in all the right symbolic places.


Has he found answers to the unanswerable

in I Chig, crystals, an ashram in India?

Did he raise his consciousness

to the highest chakra?  Is Jacob's ladder

still too short of steps for the lotus?


So thin.  So thin.

He is breaking my heart.


I hold my apron by the corners,

basketing the last of our apples.

"Will you come in?"

His nostrils tremble with fruity aromas

of pas remembrance.

His gaunt eyes light up.

He wants nothing better in the world

than to sit peeling apples

face to face at the kitchen table.






Mess-a-bed, bum pipe, swine's mouth,

by any name, Daneelion, you freely give

The gold of looks, the good of leaves,

a touch of holy in your wine.

At your first clumping, like

my neighbors, I assault with boots,

smother with sprays, gouge with digger,

mow over.  Pesky weed to lawns.


You bail out of the season's wreckage

delicate, unthreatened, glistening.

I have come comfort of a loser's

summer wars when the soft sculptures

of your firm round seedheads in diaspora

slip apart to the breeze's slightest

breath, drift across my window

and down the street with the ease

of a voice floating an aria.


Year after year you melt

into what's intact.  You return

spring ahead of the calendar, unoffended.

But where is the wish I blew you away with

years and years ago?






Those depth rabbis poring over the Talmud

trapped in what they know

            they do not know

lingering over poems embedded in poems

will put up with all the nitty gritty

            of just and realistic principles

and round up all the possibilities

to make sure they don’t miss

            whatever might be on the sacred mind

showing through at the glorious edge

            of human limits.

A life to cling to for dear life.

A sea that holds you up if you let it

            be your spine.

A planet losing its blue to bluer

            the farther you leave it.

The word for which there is no word

            for the worth.

Hour after hour

in a gray interior

pearly from the sun’s rays

held shimmering in the narrow windows

they walk the fine line of the text

            finer for wear

and approach

            the hand not free to touch

            the sight forbidden to have.

More than meets the eye, their bearings.






Coming toward me

over the soft underfoot

of city concrete

among sweaty bare arms

bare legs

snipped jeans

haltered throats


to the sturdy rhythm of his black shoes

and the capacious swing of his black coat

out of the reverent elegance of his brimmed black hat


his face


a white iris

in waving leaves


his face


the wounds of an angel

healed white like a man’s


his face


one illuminated letter

standing before God

asking only always

to dance, to praise, to trust.






Four billion years ago, about,

            you had

only your own mind around.

            You age

by haloes closeted in trees and rocks.

            Are you conscious

of the eons you have been living,

            of what

you have been, where you are going?

            You should be

taller than you are — uplifted

            on debris of ages —

long bones, connecting bones, jawbones,

            fetal bones

and fragments of civilizations

            fitted floor to floor.

For centuries we calculated you

            our center

and now we discover you are one

            of so many a many

our simple arithmetic self-destructs.

Fieldwork in origins,

            divine or otherwise

is futile.  You crack open

            at ageless faults

and for 15 seconds we are profound.

            Then uncertain.

You show some order in your behavior,

            masking death mothering

seeds and bulbs and spores.

But you smash our houses by chance

            with flood

and gale force winds.  You multiply

            cancer cells

with the vibrant pace of life.


How do you communicate with other

            bodies of your kind?

Your cast-and-wrought-iron will

            takes no notice of us.

You go on making up your stories

            while we at your back

flounder in motivation, hanker

            to revise, at times

throw ourselves on your writing hand.

            We free ambiguities

with a plot twist, endlessly

            speculate your aims.

Like, in the last thunderclap,

            why did you leave

the lilac bush intact?


Although the world I harness

            to my spinning wheel

isn’t Teriary granite or quantum

            theory, I sometimes think

I have a glance from you

            in the ocher and umber

autumn colors of the scrub oak

            and willow timed

to the moutain valley where I live.

            Here and there

I have found a surface opening

            but only to

stressted pupal skin — the butterfly


Is there a word for me in a grain

            of dust?

Because we cannot know the truth

            should we be content

only with what is true enough

            to get along with?  Give me


a sign of the size of your heart

to intrude, crystallize, metamorphose

human minerals that won’t mix.







Faces mounted

on barbed wire


unevenly posted


tip back

to sun

day after day

more silent






drained sun


2.  Barbed Wire


Call it sleep, call it waking:

Sun, you mark off my face from sour air.

I lift for my share, I hold back,

so many taking.


We too grow less and less.  Therefore,

we know we are.  Our questions

look back at us like eyes in a picture

tirelessly oepn to their expression.

Sunrise, sunset.  Which is which?

Does it matter?  What is truly lasting

cannot be forever unknown.


Once I was in a garden, crossing roses.

Out strode these elephantine aphids.

We are stench, the rotting soggy fragrance

of autumn leaves.  When autumn is choreographer.

all a leaf en pointe can do is fall.


In the thinning light

we dwindle together, jostling words

to move right in our mind.

We lose force, we wear out.

Morning opens our eyes, darkens our soul.

did God say Let it be so he could suffer with us?

Can the divine unburden the divine?

There is no more to have: words too baffling

to utter, prayer too heavy to lift.

Oh, for the influx of warmth to our wounds!


Sun, send me your meager regards.

Let me not let go of you.

Let me not let go of him.




3.  Cadmium Yellow


People of Promise

you sought the sun

for more warmth than it had to give.

You knew it was dying, not in flames,

but in icy cold.


Did you think your keepers

had to one day, any day now

had to come to their senses?


I saw you on a retrospective,

beaten from ships.

First thing on Cyprus

you set up Hebrew schools.


I wish I could daven with you.

I wish I could share the word

in its holy tongue,

the motion, the rapture

starred in cadmium yellow,

weightless as Chagall —

all I am missing out on —


so beautiful the thing itself,

history so maddening.






I'm crossing on a destroyed map

of the world, a tumble

of heaped, uprisen rock.

My sneakers have no traction on crevices.

My legs lock in ledges

like a cricket caught in the floorboards.

Every rock I hit hits me,

a dark angel of danger promising worse,

my ligaments and tissues in rags.


A glimpse, still too far off to tell.

Where uncertainty is so palpably the rule,

is light playing tricks on me,

shining out on the surface of rock

the idea that possesses me, a bit of trail,

dust stacked on dust, and little stones,

the way to where those who have taken it

into the summit's wide range were happy?


My body surges in a spontaneous cadenza.

I leap like a dancer touching

on strong ankles, in sweet reason,

a real place ahead of time.


Never anything so beautiful in the faint

drone of nature as that moving refuge,

now visible, now hidden,

so healing as those pulsations of gravel,

magenta, yellow, violet.

I catch my breath, both roads taken, underfoot proved with a deep sigh.

First the risk and then the risk.

What is there left?  Now I know.






A dream slips over my head

and I am dressed for meeting.

In endowed space, at the threshold

of time no-time, I have a clear sight

of faces I know intimately,

whose features I could not describe.

And someone I take to be myself.


I don’t bring up remorse

for what was left undone.

They don’t tell me

how it is with them now.

Venues change abruptly.

Sequences make no sense.

In locked-in light that will out,

we talk naturally, easily,

interesting to each other, faces

softly sculptured to the constancy

of affection.


On waking, the life between us

bonus of another life,

my mother’s laugh.





The tide comes in on black and white keys.

In the likeness of one who moved

heaven and earth and man

St. Francis puts the risen crests

to the living tissues of his foot

and is brisked across.


What is fact and what is only lovely?

Facts vanish into the wings

like a dancer, bows over and done with,

like the small decisions they are.

You can sum facts up accurately

as on an abacus and never arrive

at the holding truth of legend —

the truth of the past remembered right.


The tide comes in on boisterous winds

of fear and doubt.  Here I am,

an organism (it is said)

of carbon and nitrogen compounded

over unthinkable eons.  Here I am,

called to the yielding floor of steep water.

What better effects of weightlessness?

I make my way to an inland sea

like dew on a rose’s red, upheld.





            (Columbine High School, Littleton, CO, April, 1999)


They wrote the script and staged it.

They supplied the props, themselves

the principals in the drama.

We admire creators, don’t we?

We admire Renaissance types.


They planned, bought, assembled, savored

the makings of their major military operation.

They were younger than Alexander

when they had their first success.

We admire action, don’t we?

We admire heroes.


They were achievers, clearly,

famous before they reached twenty.

They made the cover of Time

and are talked about worldwide.

For they are celebrities, aren’t they?

We admire celebrities.


They took their lives grandly

as befitted great powers.

They will live on, cultified, glorified,

for they are young gods, aren’t they?

Fresh new gods.


Yes, April is the cruellest month

for the handwork of those artisans.






I sit in this meadow, the height again

of the child I was, standing tall

as the daisies and purple penstemon

brushing my face.  A butterfly

makes its way up the way down.

A black bee bumbles.  Every moment

has their alighting in it.

What is possible becomes what is.


The sky gives its warm blue hint

of a warmer thought.  Not infinity —

infinity goes nowhere.  I mean forever,

the time the sky puts in my head

to catch light by before the clock resumes.

What of wounds that fester, never heal?

The oboe’s faultless A

tunes them out so purely

the whole orchestra abides by its say.


The wind counts the green pulses of grass

with my own.  Suddenly the sky

is ablaze with clarion-like tones

of orange overwrought as an opera,

but thrilling.  This fiction of sunset.

What a dramatic truth it tells as it streams

across the sky like one aria after another —


I blossom Indian paintbrush red.

And while I am a child again

long as I can

I shall keep the sun from going down.






I am in water color view of the abbey

Charlemagne promised God he would build

if he waved the epidemic away.  Celestial

prospect he needed most for life.

A light breeze leafs my hair.

Head and heart fit together

like a wedding ring set.


In the soft warm duskiness of distance

Sant’Antimo outlines itself, treasure

of the field.  Does it know

what a beauty it is?  The light

is leaving its surface, it gives off

a sheen from the light within.


Is the idea less real than the outer

form it took from a prayer of thanks?

It shifts shape in time and density,

the impression of the likeness

of a shadow in shadowy relief.


This repose.

Virginia Woolf would call it

“cotton-wool non-being.”

This incomplete crossing: inexhaustible

rest of the story, meaning almost

making it to where I am.  This silence,

the thing itself in the thing it is.

I am wrapped in breezes soft as buckskin,

all my bones in a gaze.






Hope is the thing with feathers

Emily Dickinson fascicled upstairs

as 20,000 birdsongs filled the air

with futile futile futile.


Over the years I too

have listened,

buoyed up, let down

rounding the years on

the feathers of good hope.


Hope is a drudge whose broom

now and then breaks out a blossom,

is a tiny flower of the tundra

that survives the fiercest winters,

is 2,000 birdsongs, or 2000, or 20

or even 2 pitching their true music

against the 20,000 —

not so not so not so.






So much

depends on what

you mean by memory --

in translation, Remembrance of

Things Past,


in Proust’s

own words, In Search

of Time Lost.  The intent

is to salvage in the present

a time



from the present,

winding through the present

as the past is recovered from

the past


time still

 and unstill at

his bed, detail on detail

turned up


with ease

like garden tools

lost in grass, suddenly

in plain view the very day you

need them.








off fame, they planned

so well for video,

they saw and heard the whole shebang

go boom!




“all a mother

could ask for” – innocents,

some dead, some maimed for life, I share

your pain


and pledge

I shall never

stop teaching: “To create/

Is greater than created to







It hits

you with massive

force. It sustains you with

the sun's wealth of warmth the rest of

your life.



are boomerangs.

Out of sight, they return.

They have to: in the beginning

made right.


With thee

conversing I

forget all time. Eve to

Adam, Adam to God, I to





September 11, 2001


Great steel supports crash.

Fires rage outside and in.

Blood blossoms in concrete.

Once I thought all wars are

civil wars because all men

are brothers, are they not?


Once I thought worldwide peace

would give people freedom

to choose from the infinite

possibilities of life;

freedom from hate absorbed

in the womb, taught since birth;

freedom to pledge themselves

in good's way instead of harm's.


I saw both sides of the street

in spring join under a lofty

canopy of green, and thought

Why can't every soul

make its way beneath in

the vital need to live

in each other's worth?


I pull the curtain ropes to morning,

hands lifted in prayer,

head bowed in grief,

foot pointed to the mark.

There is only one God, I agree,

but oh, you masters of deceit

Satan is not he!





SEPTEMBER 11, 2001


The leaves fell early, and I cannot write

Of those who danced at death with such delight

In their descent. I have the shock and horror

Of Milton at the Piedmont massacre.

He made of his stunned silence holy sound

As martyred blood and ash fell to the ground.


I cannot write and yet I have the grief,

The long sob, the Einfühlung without relief.

I cannot write by day so words slip through

At night. I turn by day from vivid view

Of slaughter. I cannot write, I cannot write

Of those who danced at death with such delight.


I cannot write. I stay and yet I leave:

After the cries, the whispers of the grave.





September 20, 2001


He has the integrity of a Guarneri violin.

The pitch of his life is true pitch,

the truest health. He will hold out

against the catch-alls, the alternatives

without root or branch, the guidance

of what's in, what's out. He will sound

his instrument along the faultline under

the world's atrocities and break them up.

Instead of calling everything a mystery

(because everything is),

in the wingspan of spirit he'll move

with others like him of his choice,

to the power of the still moment,

the guidance of the steady light of God.


His quality is unimpeachable.

He will count the few with the many

killed by leaders who have no vision

for their people, only the vanity

of their own ruthless command.


He is more than a network of cells,

waystations receiving coded cargoes

of blood for the body. Charisma is not

his goal, nor intrigue his game.

He is a plain spoken man of honor,

which in terms of that rarity,

a Guarnerius, is flesh grained with wood

absolutely right for its purpose.


He weighs in at 999.9 fine gold –

bush that burns and is not consumed

by foolish voices from within

or brutish acts from without.






My modern mind takes an old course of right,

Its passage swift through filigrees of space

To destination PEACE it keeps in sight


In spite of questions flaunted in my face:

Can man become the best in him to be?

Can he give hate up and arms’ latest race


Despite his nature and his history?

The mark as I move moves from me, a star

Where war no longer is reality.


My dream of earth-wide brotherhood is far

From possible till all men make the leap,

Their shackles stripped, their purpose singular.


Meanwhile I join my country now at war:

Peace like all good things must be fought for.






Come out of your caves!

Your back needs straightening

and strengthening after so long crouching.

Your heart needs much repair

after so long attuned to hate.


Let me teach you the tango, that

incomparable dance

of beauty and order and guided love.


First I would let you practice alone.

I’d have you take the basic

8-beat step, hands raised

as if someone were in them,

and I would count



as I made the turns myself.


Your hand of death in my living hand,

face to face

eye to eye

we would honor correctness.

We would take 8 in 16 beats

over and over

till hand in hand,

face to face

eye to eye

you saw in my eye

the thousands of hands

you cruelly struck from yours.


And when the sad violins

and the exuberant piano

ceased their just and deep avowals

of the sacredness of caring,

and still you could not bring yourself

to bow,



I would have you stand alone again,

with raised arms

as if you held the world in them

and eye to eye with the world,



you’d speak on the wide screen

as one who has profited by a

single lesson enough to say

to women with as yet unborn children:



Teach them to tango.

Teach them harmony.

Harmony of one to one.



Harmony of discipline and courtesy.

One to one to all.



Teach them in the womb.

Born is too late.


Stamp before you start.






Fresh grass

hosts the morning

paper, cellophane wrapped.

Dewdrops refresh fire-scarred walls, glass

smashed in


to ease

the way for a

whole new crop of owners,

headlines tolling the latest lives

cut short.


Years past

on a winding

lane at town's edge, I ran

ahead of mother wheeling the



I brought

back wildflowers

for her dress. I go by

bus now through shattered streets.  If I

could ease


the eyes

beside me of

their terrible fear of

my hand offering daisies and






            A 9/11 Follow up


How good to exchange my bed for the patio!

Aren’t you glad to be visitng outdoors

at last?  If the sunshine bothers you,

move closer to me.  In the soft June breeze

the leaves are letting just enough

light through to be gentle on my face.


Thank you, Jean, for the violets.

You know they are my favorite.

How expressive their beautiful little faces!

I read somewhere in their own language

they are saying “I return your love.”

And that is what I say to you.


I’ve also read some violets never open

like the others, but commune with

themselves, fertilize themselves, bear

closed buds.  My jaw has kept me reticent

so long, I see it as the weakness

by which I become stronger.


Near death.  Leaves know it well,

losing their living greens.

It’s hard to believe they are not

in pain, their coloring the bright flames

of passage.


I fought the pain, bandaged tight.

Is it such a bad thing to be sewed in

with the soul?  I found good laid up there,

peace of mind that sustained me in my wars.

Now the burns have left me feeling

a glow in my face.


Jean, dear, do not look at me like that!






            1. Something like a Fact


With gloves

needle-stabbed through,

I clear cones, twigs, dry grass

and find spring’s first violet in



It hears

my silent love,

and answers with its own

voice the words I wear away in my



Some meet

my face with a

box cutter; others like

the violet say “I return

your love.”


            2.  In the Margins of Error


How can

war be holy

but to unholy men

who conceive God as excelling

in craft?


            3.  Aspects of Hate


To bring

an end to war,

to stop the flow of hate,

to make the stubborn care enough

to know


words like

respect and friend

are peerless icons of

human relationships.  Oh world,

to change!


            4.  Protestors



of the word peace,

let me know when you have

a constructive, workable plan –

one that




risks, tough going for the

harrowed foot that responds with soul,




perfect and more

perfect strategies, with

not a mile motivated by



            5.  Losers


If my

leader spells peace

right, and you wrong, making

a shallows of the word with your

own rules,


you would

be honest to

back off from a world that

loves sounding its own hate more than



            6.  Hopeful


If  I

hating evil

with all my friendly heart

am unworthy of forgiveness,

may  I


still be

kindly judged for

shame and guilt and firmness

behind the few glow words in these







A mangrove is its own multiplication table –

Arms from its trunk, arms from its branches; more

arms than a monkey has, agile to seize

and dangle secure; or all the Hindu gods

Together. A growth turns reef, reefs multiply,

Islands of mangroves endlessly repeat

Their mortal business, endlessly self-immersed,

Self-rooted and self-rooting in occupied space,

Their identity assured among dead leaves,

Their preparation undaunted.  Perhaps a fish

Or two caught in the fronds, but for that, so slight,

It goes on without remission, getting and begetting,

The suckled their own suckling, spent and spending,

Not the world, but ourselves too much with us.







Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity. -- Eccl. 9:9


You are crossed in wires,

wires you hate, artifices of survival.

A needle pierces your wrist to my heart.

You are bleeding on the sheet.

The nurses are running.

You are breathing hard.


Life threw rocks at us by the hundreds,

but we held kitchen glass to our lips

and called them champagne bubbles.


Some moments rubbed gall-raw. Some,

were lovely as a high mountain meadow,

purple lupines and white daisies

to our knees.


You are in hiding from me like psalm

numbers behind church columns.

Your eyes are closed. You cannot

speak, they cannot speak for you.


How neatly fiction makes ends meet,

completes a life in last conversations:

Lear with his daughter, Gloucester, his son.

There was time for all that was not spoken,

and for love to assert itself again.


Your hand reaches out suddenly,

with all the force of leaving

grips mine. The warmth of my hand

diminishes as yours does.

You slip away like a boat from thickets

of trees to the path the water makes

for it. Fiction offends.

Yet never could I call life vanity.

It was so good to have.






Oh, to

use my time-space

like an angel – never

putting ego in compassion,




public; always

in hover-reach, keeping

in touch with the tried-true silenced,



note pads

to harvest the

West’s great abstractions, a

bullet-proof vest for books under

my skin.






Genesis begins with B.

You cannot start with A

because A is a first thing,

and first things we cannot tell.

B answers for that wonderful harmony

of heaven and earth, man and creator,

that mystic interval out of time

that lingers in time

and the telling of what we can.                 


Genesis starts day with evening.

Day was not even dawn. Day passes

through night to be brought in

like a bride in white clouds

glistening with the prime within:

the high spirits of flaming red,

the steadying momentum of golden yellow.

Morning glories under a blue and bluer sky

catch the wedding bouquet.


So time is always beginning,

time is always creating,

day into night, night into day,

book and clay, clay and book.


In day's fullness much comes to light

and much comes of it. And much may.

But day only ends in B again,

and now is forever, moment to moment

without end because of

last things too we cannot tell.






I gave up on man-made theories,

undocumented opinions,

facts unstable as weather forecasts

momentarily subject to revision,

when usable on the information exchange

of no more value as knowledge

than the chatter of a mountain creek

to the hikers alongside.


I struggled with the staggering

possibilities of creation,

distancing myself from hydrogen origins

to relive the 6th day of that

exhausting Week, that long day when we

came last, after the land creatures,

a mysterious hiatus between us

to make all the difference.


Morning brought legends and narratives

whose blunt and beautiful words

from another time and language

spoke to the inner glow

they had generated –


illuminations like a mountain lake

clear blue as the sky is

on a calm midsummer day, inviting

contemplation of its lapis depths,

given truths like a handful of stones,

to mark the place where I was left bereft

and would return to again and again.







the house for work

this early morning, I

took birdsong for snow lightly in song. All


day it

sang though I was

inside. On the way home

it was scarcely to be heard for the noise


of the

bus. But I heard.

Later it lay mounded

in its nest of moonlight, the snow it was.







Some make lies of wings, reject unaided

flight over incalculable miles

            but I say

Space bends for Einstein, not angels.

            For them

space stands straight to straightaway.

“Here I am. Send me.”


Some deny inerrant arrivals right on time

originating out of this world

            but I say

Time bends for physics, not angels.

            For them

passage is direct as the finger of God

on the Sistine ceiling.


When the clear crisp autumn day

            without warning

whipped me white in snow to my hips

and sank the trail from sight

and made every floundering step I took

a risk of the cliff’s edge,


Suddenly a great peace came over me.

I was lifted in lightness as if I slept

and in lightness swiftly smoothly surely

brought down.


Some say a blizzard draped me.

Some say Mountain Rescue found me.

Some say I was lucky not to lose

fingers or toes to hypothermia

            but I say


Oh my friends, gossamer is warm.







I huddle, I stretch,

I wave my arms, kick my legs.

Cold electrodes, can you carry the tune

as half-awake, I intone

like those nodding men at Jerusalem wall

anthems from the marrow of their bones?


Machine brimming with electrical accounts

of my double dark to steel,

wagging, jerking, conducting

my polyautograph black on white,

have you any way of arching

a rainbow over my dreams?


Jackhammer stylus, zigzagging lined paper,

pressing on with pieces of my sleep,

making a narrative

of this night’s guest’s thrashing,

what ceaseless conversations

I have with God

will you leave out of the text?






Trying to make the black and white keys

fly as they sing, I stop to listen.

The window is open. A lark

is sending up his song

ahead of himself from his nest in grass:

cadence tiny, assured, complete.


He rises in music of his own making,

inserting a slight variation

for the flowers below

as he passes on the wind

into the deep drifts of time and space.


What words? What prophecy?

Fainter. Fainter. Still.


Did he hear me struggle with sound-alikes

for that exquisite measure

it took him only once to say?

Lark, I shall never be satisfied

till I am part of your world

and you mine!         








I watch the wind

delivering snow

to every obstacle

till nothing's left in sight

but snow,

snow the Christo of my street

that fits every house

under one long blanket coat

with enough left over

to billow and swell in air,

of a whiteness I would have sworn to

thinking I have the final word on snow,

but what I see is morning dark,

white black.







The camps were an architect's dream

    of the simplest means

for a grand design, adjusting

the heavy duty plan of the universe

to the delicate subtleties

    of extermination.


How to save a bullet when shooting two?

Let the mother hold her baby so.


The buildings were showcases

of efficiency and high modern.

The barbed wire was hung

with portraits of selected residents,

faces lifted to sun in early light,

sun so drained, faces so emaciated,

the fine detail of fleshtones

left out to save paint.


Only yesterday. And still

the artists keep coming.

So many. So open now.

So soon the world to be savaged again,

never in theirs, another's heart pounding.







May I

never lose sight

of the secrets. They are

the universe. So much to it!

Like Love.








With God,

every breath is

an angel; with angels, their every word is hineni

“Send me.“



may I serve you

all my life, flying a little lower than angels, a

blue bird.








While I

fuss about the

weather – rain or clearing,

in the desert street now blooming

like a


rose, the

first eyeball lies

waiting to be picked up

for body and soul burial









From its

dark night of pain,

fear, regrets, and sorrows, the soul emerges singing as



soul can,

hurt but shone on

leading beautiful, strong,

to a repeat -- how could there be

an end?








Our love of patterns proves we were created.

Designs complex or simple tell us so.

We are by Genesis illuminated,


By geometry and compass antedated.

Not for us the random embryo.

Our love of patterns proves we were created,


From curves and angles never separated

Colors give austerity a glow.

We are by Genesis illuminated,


Our origin with reverence narrated.

To poetry of ancient ink we owe

Our love of patterns, proof we were created


And with a serious purpose elevated

Into a vaster design than we can know.

We are by Genesis illuminated,


Its matchless words draw us from the debated:

The Big Bang guess is not our way to go.

Our love of patterns proves we were created.

We are by Genesis illuminated.