Say the fire made an offering
of itself. It was long ago -- the memory
has turned by now to clay. He watches
his daughter retrieving her rocks
from the shallows. She has washed them,
it seems, has prepared them. And as he
she buries them not far from where the fire
came tumbling down the ridge.
She scrapes each hole then plants them
deep as seeds.
the Gods Abandon Us
If you have ever walked along a rocky coast
in winter, have watched pale December
sunlight dimming along steep granite cliffs,
have seen whitecaps disappearing into
near Burnt Island, then you know. Surf wears
away at rocks. Salt spray rises like a prayer.
Once a boy from Indiana came home
from school to find his father's prairie barn
The smoke drifted low across the corn
and seemed to hang suspended near the cistern.
Another night he dreamed that a bronze monastery
bell was ringing somewhere in a Japanese
He rose in sleep and walked in moonlight
across cobblestones until he saw a hundred
paper lanterns set out before a rocky cliff.
The ocean lay beneath him, as smooth yet round
as beveled mirrors. He knew somehow that he