Tuesday, December 29, 2020



Linda Gregg in her element, in a nicely pressed top



As I pull the bucket from the crude well,

the water changes from dark to a light

more silver than the sun. When I pour it

over my body that is standing in the dust

by the oleander bush, it sparkles easily

in the sunlight with an earnestness like

the spirit close up. The water magnifies

the sun all along the length of it.

Love is not less because of the spirit.

Delight does not make the heart childish.

We thought the blood thinned, our weight

lessened, that our substance was reduced

by simple happiness. The oleander is thick

with leaves and flowers because of spilled

water. Let the spirit marry the heart.

When I return naked to the stone porch,

there is no one to see me glistening.

But I look at the almond tree with its husks

cracking open in the heat. I look down

the whole mountain to the sea. Goats bleating

faintly and sometimes bells. I stand there

a long time with the sun and the quiet,

the earth moving slowly as I dry in the light.

To Be Here


The February road to the river is mud

and dirty snow, tire tracks and corncobs

uncovered by the mildness. I think I am

living alone and that I am not afraid.

Love is those birds working hard at flying

over the mountain going somewhere else.

Fidelity is always about what we have

already lived. I am happy, kicking snow.

The trees are the ones to honor. The trees

and the broken corn. And the clear sky

that looks like rain is falling through it.

Not a pretty spring, but the real thing.

The old weeds and the old vegetables.

Winter's graceful severity melting away.

I don't think the dead will speak.

I think they are happy just to be here.

If they did, I imagine them saying

birds flying, twigs, water reflecting.

There is only this. Dead weeds waiting

uncovered to the quiet soft day.

Kept Burning and Distant


You return when you feel like it,

like rain. And like rain you are tender,

with the rain's inept tenderness.

A passion so general I could be anywhere.

You carry me out into the wet air.

You lay me down on the leaves

and the strong thing is not the sex

but waking up alone under the trees after.


Linda Gregg

Sacraments of Desire

Graywolf Press


Sweetheart and I once upon a time

had an evening meal with Linda Gregg

and she asked me if she could sign a copy

of her book I had with me — and now that

she is gone, I am happy she did, adding a bit of

decorative scroll to her inscription which seemed

to be part of our all together get together. In another

twist of fate, she could have been one of the Beats,

but her beautiful working mind was always in the clouds.

[ BA ]