June 12

silver-grey in fine lines
broad flat swaths toward the east
green-grey undertone
light mist at the horizon
around Saturna

from my window
can’t square the map with the view
paper map & compass
tomorrow the new moon
in which mountains
with a month of moonbeams
what changes
the sea the stage on which I perform
a dry exercise in my notebook
the number twenty-nine—two swans
with necks entwined
& the real sea

June 13 – New Moon 

soft medium grey
water indistinguishable from fog & cloud
drizzling rain
horizon line has disappeared
except for at the Semiahmoo Peninsula
eventually faint forms emerge from/in the clouds

feel unlike going out or
doing anything            but I will
you get cozy & go back
to sleep                        & me
out here on the couch
to study water
aerial & nautical
plan bus routes
a visit from a damp crow
perched on downspout beneath eaves
he doesn’t wish to
come inside

June 15

a silver white wine colour
so still I can make out the reflections
of the trees
on Semiahmoo Peninsula
waterfowl airborne above
soft pink grey sky
greying water
clear pale blue in the distance

these are the gates       & there are no gates
to the sea
birdsong through open window
with cold draft
I can’t feel so down with you here

your job is how you get money, sure
but I let it be more than that
believed I was worried about money
& in part

what I haven’t done this whole time
is touch the sea
I’ll make a point of it
even just my feet

June 16

the tide is high
ontology of precision:
facts can themselves be vague
oscillate in a harmonic field
of contradiction & affirmation
facts enveloped in a salt haze
which is itself a fact

how far from shore the wish
to bring these pages to a close

today rippled by definite waves
blue & green
sky & earth
dark blue horizon
& island mountains in blue white haze


June 17

pale even blue
barred flat patches of darker medium blue
white at the horizon
clear enough to see Mt. Olympus

I look at the water & wonder
how far I could go
where the border
divides water from water

June 18

pale blue to almost white
medium blue horizontal bands
or slightly diagonal
still sea
note of palest pink in the sky

dreamt I was locked in the dark theatre office
after hours
or afraid my son was locked in there

June 19

water is dark blue towards horizon, but
disappearing abruptly into thick white haze
obscuring most mountains & all islands
leaving only the faintest indication
water becomes brighter just as sharply
two thirds of the way across the view
(diagonally) veins of dark blue in the white ripples
at eastern edge


June 20

almost all a uniform medium blue
cloudy sky, but white, high up, & thin
small patches of darker blue
sparse like brushwork
a sailboat

fish you from sleep
walk in the hall
the floor creaks
only hear it when the house is quiet
worried I dream you
& sleep worriedly overall

weight of the line a blanket
runs all the way down to the beach                 & back up
Burlington Northern train whistle sounds
over Boundary Bay
salt water & islands
sleep’s cover & its wave

the sea won’t stay put
& my descriptions are minute
& temporary

a real document of the sea would soon become
as large as the sea

a sea of language
waves of paper words

let the description wash over
like evaporating thoughts
in summer heat

tide’s out

June 21

a jagged break between
dark grey clouds & dark grey water
distant white sky in that break
rough waves, strong winds
a mass of cloud

sea over us & we crawl
the dusty sky
thought is escaping
can scarcely record one wave
focal depths in mist
photographs would say more & less
without a thought
writing dampens pages
water is more legible
write on the sea

imaginary sea of no life
empty water & light
real water darkened with particles
at bottom: enough slime
to bury all dry land

at the imaginary bottom a desert
end of streetlights
end of pavement
end of dirt
& lastly only mathematics & stage directions
a paper desert
but waterlogged
outstretched arms offer unknown fish
depthless inverted reflections
of sky & water seen in one another
muffled telephone bells

June 23

bright grey
one white streak
incongruous warmer blue on the horizon

another day I see one white sailboat
listening to Dolphy     & we’re out

even this close to the water
I can’t breathe
although my technique improves
with practice

tide in but starting to go out
damp beach in sun so much too
much for my eyes

June 24

sea & sky both white
faintly blue at the edges
tangle of clouds           knot of sailboats
grey patches start to form

a wave folds

what hides in the folds of a wave

to the run-wild roses of Kwomais Point I say out loud:
what I withhold is in HERE

June 26



June 27 – Strawberry Moon

very bright white
& flat
with grey patches & gulls
grey blue at western edge with slight mist
shimmering planes of relative brightness

take off your sunglasses to reveal
another pair of sunglasses
ad infinitum

see myself sit way back
in a tall chair doing
exactly that

let your heart be broken
if you can’t
stop it

June 28

crisply textured
high-contrast blues
with a fine granularity
& a white line along the horizon
& the Semiahmoo shore
Orcas Island is white with mist
San Juans likewise

& yet I find I see more clearly every day

July 1

purple bands appear
in the heavy heat & sun
rippled through

what moods arise? scarcely any
are possible
dissolved in salt water
unable to maintain a daily routine
under a mountain of paper

long ago my handwriting was lovely
now wrinkled
reminds me of what I was thinking at the time
today I felt past failures were inescapable

picture the end of November

July 2

I pass by the window several times
now the sky above the mountains is pale yellow
now salmon pink
now deepening mauve
& the sea turns dark eventually, blue almost black

the work is the reward
contact with poetry

words can be arranged to say more

promise of old-school Vancouver rent
weightless words lent alien mass

make arrangements for words to say more

lights raised & lowered
be the last ones on the beach

arrange words to say

July 5

reflections again
white & blue-grey east
fade into a bluer white west
blue reflections of mountains
dark green reflections of trees
pale, washed-out patches
golden light fades

if you want to go
to an extreme of alienation
take the bus
but realize it’s only
a feeling
come to stupid conclusions
& recognize them as such
hold them lightly & expect correction

how did things get to
be this way
the more you learn about
the answers to this question the less
interesting they become

but a recently cleared patch of forest
retains a snap
of shock & grief

July 6

flat dark blue mountains
rolling white waves on blue water
pushing eastward
blue clouds

round lines
vacant of meaning

grope walls called
the limit of


got tired
& missed

July 7

pointillist agitation
patches of falling cloud
to rain
white tops, dark grey bottoms
blue horizon
dirty grey-white water
churns like television snow

to be at sea
within myself a strangely
directionless person

the immediacy & anonymity
of presence

in the space of
improvisation & endless moods

July 8

today the sea as still
as sea can be
flat silver
with one dark blue patch
            over there

furniture stained & mismatched
fruit sustained efforts bear

notification sounds alright
air thick with salt & birds

this is that time
our lives tip to change

want that change or not
visit Orcas Island by fall

dreams that won’t happen, fine
fine dreams that happen are

but also fine & true—or even better
poetry in meanwhile’s corridor

in vacant home
& what could be managed else

July 9

even rippled grey
lighter in the east
stippled by waves
smooth blank clouds

nurture the feeling I could
become someone yet

seagulls sing back at crows
exchange words

mosquitoes the food
that eats you

sea water dry on my legs

infinite descriptions of natural phenomena
occupy infinite space & zero time

waiting can be faith

words I could write

July 12 – New Moon

one thin grey-purple cloud
frayed at the bottom edge
silver interrupted by many patches
of different blues: light, medium, dark
scattered near & far

from thought to idea
tide high
apologize for existing
to water birds
how a notebook is emptied by time
tide in
waves make their way into music
feel something wrong

if the (unpublished) poems don’t make you happy
the (published) books won’t either

see someone you know on the street
& be glad

the insipidity of youth & the time
during which you will remain young

catalogue of losses
we keep going until there won’t be any more