1. Planting A Sequoia All afternoon my brothers and I have worked in the orchard,
Digging this hole, laying you into it, carefully packing the soil.
Rain blackened the horizon, but cold winds kept it over the Pacific,
2. Emigre In Autumn Walking down the garden path
From the house you do not own,
Once again you think of how
3. Rough Country Give me a landscape made of obstacles,
of steep hills and jutting glacial rock,
where the low-running streams are quick to flood
4. Insomnia Now you hear what the house has to say.
Pipes clanking, water running in the dark,
the mortgaged walls shifting in discomfort,
5. Pentecost After the death of our son
Neither the sorrows of afternoon, waiting in the silent house,
6. The Next Poem How much better it seems now
than when it is finally doneâ??
the unforgettable first line,
7. Do Not Expect Do not expect that if your book falls open
to a certain page, that any phrase
you read will make a difference today,
8. The Lost Garden If ever we see those gardens again,
The summer will be goneâ??at least our summer.
Some other mockingbird will concertize
9. Litany This is a litany of lost things,
a canon of possessions dispossessed,
a photograph, an old address, a key.
10. California Hills In August I can imagine someone who found
these fields unbearable, who climbed
the hillside in the heat, cursing the dust,
Mine eyes, like clouds, were drizzling rain;
And as they thus did entertain
The gentle beams from Julia's sight
To mine eyes levell'd opposite,
O thing admir'd! there did appear
A curious rainbow smiling there;
Which was the covenant that she
No more would drown mine eyes or me.
... Read complete poem