Looking up from the lower garden space that I am developing now with Handyman B.
I am thankful every spring for the man who lived here first
and left me all these irises and the roses in the front yard.
It is a fine place to sit and watch ducks and ducklings in the creek.
Amazing how the little ones swim, even against the current;
they cannot be more than a few days old.
I saw them again this morning.
HOW TO BE A POET
(to remind myself)
Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill — more of each
than you have — inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.
Poetry Magazine, January, 2001