Wednesday, February 20, 2013


With practiced breath
and tuned ears
I went Inside the Taj Mahal
With Paul Horn

I slipped from the now
into memories
like gold in the crevices


Cross country skiing at Carson Pass
Up through the granite and pine
Glimpse Elephant Back
Then down the big bowl on skinny skis


The lot of us
will build each others houses
a self help group at Lake Tahoe
about to be home owners
we gather together to choose
our ground

12 people
12 different lots
We toured them all
and drew up
emotional lists
of places to live

There was only one lot for Jan and me,
we wanted North Upper Truckee

The time came to choose

12 slips of paper
numbered 1 - 12
placed in a hat
above eye-line
each couple drew

I took the last slip
It read 1
We'd drawn North Upper Truckee

As I kicked the spade into rocky soil
starting a foundation trench for our home
I thought how lucky we are
to have a place in the world

As we framed the walls
set the windows
shingled the roof
hammered home the siding
the reality
sunk in

That was our start.


The polished mahogany
and worn green velvet
on thickly padded seats
Taj Express
Delhli to Agra
Breathing the fumes of the Raj

Walking toward the Taj
The hot air thick with moisture
The crowds dressed up for a sacred place

Inside the warm marble
of the great dome
fingers laced
we found our future

If all the chosen people of India
have the courage to live their lives
why not us
who have so much

Let's have a baby


Fatepur Sikri
red stone fortress of the Shah
screaming parrots
thousands thick
jump up
and color the yellow green sky


My new daughter
in my cupped hands
blinks deep eyes
and smiles
first minutes of her life
teach me
to be


squares of light
numbered and named
dark for decades
slides before sunlit windows
peaks climbed
paths hiked
sunsets captured
with chilled hands
and my Rolei 35

work hard to find places
where you could not take
a bad photograph
captured squares of light
hidden in a closet
wait in a box


I'm an old man
Standing at the kitchen sink
preparing breakfast for my wife

the acres beyond my window
echo organic orange trees
stumped for lack of water
dry dead pegs mark the rows
where trees were
gone now or

I wouldn't be able to see down the valley

I wouldn't be able to see the blue arc of the ocean

when I stand at my kitchen sink

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