One Morning in Skagit Valley - Beaver Marsh Road (or Why I Live Here - por qué vivo aquí): .
A Conversation With Lucretius - State of the Planet, a Fragment
One would like to think
It makes a dance; that the black-and-white flash
Of a flock of buntings in October wind, headed south
Toward winter habitat, would find that the December fields
Their kind has known and mated in for thirty centuries
Or more, were still intact, that they will not go
The way of the long-billed arctic curlews who flew
From Newfoundland to Patagonia in every weather
And are gone now from their kinds on earth. The last of them
Seen by any human alit in a Texas marsh in 1964.
What is to be done with our species? Because
We know we are going to die, to be submitted
To that tingling dance of atoms once again,
It’s easy for us to feel that our lives are a dream –
As this is, in a way, a dream: . . .
This voice trying to speak across centuries
Between us, even the long story of the earth,
Boreal forests, mangrove swamps, Tiberian wheatfields
In the summer heat on hillsides south of Rome – all of it
A dream, and we alive somewhere, somehow outside it,
Watching. People have been arguing for centuries
About whether or not you thought of Venus as a metaphor.
Because of the rational man they take you for.
Also about why your poem ended with a plague,
The bodies heaped in the temple of the gods.
To disappear. First one, then a few, then hundreds,
Just stopping over here, to vanish in the marsh at dusk.
So easy, in imagination, to tell the story backward,
Because the earth needs a dream of restoration –
She dances and the birds just keep arriving,
Thousands of them, immense arctic flocks, her teeming life.
Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005