Thursday, June 24, 2010



Once upon a time in Nevada City, California Susan and I and young Carson arrived early in the day after days on a train. We had a few names and addresses in our heads, and Steve Sanfield was one. Steve's been on the same road address for as long as I can remember. Since we were in the post office to start the day off and sending out some postcards to folks back home, I thought I'd ask if they could tell me where this road was. Nope. Nobody knew. Nobody knew when later in the day we asked about another friend in Grass Valley. I was nicely impressed with how the neighborhood was mum. People were pleasant but they had that look that said — I don't know you and I don't know why you're asking. Fair enough. Steve and I have yet to meet in almost 35 years of sending our poetry back and forth to one another. We have mutual friends and we all like one another's poetry. Nothing at all wrong with that picture.

This morning in the mail Susan brought back from her hike up river a new book by Steve, beautifully designed and hand printed by Jerry Reddan at Tangram. Steve sent this with a note inside, always a friendly note from Steve inside. Often Jerry sends things, and I always send things back to them both. Sometimes I read a postcard poem or broadside Jerry has printed and it's in me enough to part with — someone else might like this, so I set it in the bookshop. Some I'll need to read over and over for years and years.
The Perfect Breeze is one. Here's a few warm water drops.

the old man's place

filled with stuff

never to be used again

changing the stream's song

simply by moving

a stone or two

twenty-five years later

still dazzling in or out

of her clothes

for Sarah

long after

breaking the cup

still finding the pieces

the death of an ancient pine

presents us with a view

we never wanted

wrote the poem

that said it all

can't seem to find it

Thanks Steve & Jerry ~ the perfect visit.