The NEA support has given me the time and space to work on a new collection of poems which will be published in 2008. Instead of writing in stolen moments, I have had the privilege and luxury of taking time to refine my art and craft, to reflect upon the possibilities of that art and craft. I am deeply indebted to the NEA for its confidence in my poetry and for its continued support.
The Thousand Thistle Seeds
Ten years ago, I followed a lizard
Through a grassy, ruined amphitheater,
Followed where it led:
Quick as quicksilver,
But green, not silver.
Mute as ore, the lizard darted,
Shinnied, insinuated like flame,
A pinpoint of pulse and flash.
The lizard knew
The Etruscan wall's cracks,
The stone that blunts the plow,
The mortar's and stucco's flaws.
The lizard dwelt in a present
That extends, elongates, thins
Into a filament of consumed air.
I followed the lizard
From brick chink to olive grove,
Poppies to straw,
To sand and loam.
I knew, for a moment, the balance
Between the intimate and the infinite,
A word and what it reckons.
The sun on the hilltop
Flared upon the thousand thistle seeds,
The thousand virtues, the thousand minerals,
The thousandth of a second
It takes the lizard to taste the moment
And change course.