Lampo / Lightning


Lightning flashes in

from the 19th century

to illuminate the silver leaves

of gnarled and fruiting olive trees,

the black moon eyes of wild hares,

the tusks of bristled boars

suspended in the damp,

wind-shaken groves

as I drift toward sleep, lulled by

the in-and-outwashing spouts of rain

and wind, and float away on the waves

and swells of the deep Tuscan hills.





September 1998

from The Speed of Sight


Under the Umbrella


Under the umbrella’s furrowed brow

the world is all bottom halves:

passing torsos and legs,

hands holding leashes

attached to dogs; hips,

skirts chasing the wind

and wisps of paper; waists

and belts, trenchcoat buttons,

tree trunks and whitewalls;

fenders shiny with rain; feet

shod and sliding by

every which way; pavement

passing under one black cloud,

and a feeling that the only world

that exists or can be experienced

begins and ends at the edges

of your umbrella, a kind of

peripheral parasol vision

which feels circumscribed at first

then sheltered and comforting.



New York City

March 2005

from The Speed of Sight




              on hearing Pradeepanjalee perform Wind


The wind is hypnotic,






Wind of entrancement,





at Weill Recital Hall

New York City

November 2009




               for Hurricane Sandy landing on the head of Manhattan


Atlantic. Oceanic.


A walloping cocktail.

Marvelous super-villain.

Great locomotive,

whirlwind boxer,

HMS destroyer.

A John Ford-worthy melodrama;

rock festival; Lear-ing bellow.

A smoking pipe, hard a’blow,

waterspouter, roller coaster.

Tipping the Beaufort scale.

Tipping a 500-mile-wide hat

over the bent heads

of Autumn trees and towns,

buttoned-down cities,

tucked-up citizens;

hushing and humbling all.



New York City

October 2012


A Great Rain


It rushes down

from the suddenly-inkblack clouds

with a sheer waterfall sound

occluding everything else

from hearing.

A vertical river,

flowing in a fresh condensation,

a watery syncopation

of unstrung beads

tinged with the color

of the summer-

showering green leaves.

A monsoon in miniature

I stand under,

as it quenches,

washes over,

my upturned face,

my thirsting self;

the thirsting earth

beneath my feet.



Convent Station,

New Jersey

August 2016


Il Piove  |  The Rain


It falls on nuns

and noblemen.

Bakers and bankers.

Gondolieri e carabinieri.

Pesce e pescatore.

On the stone faces

of lions and virgins.

It falls down, and down,

under the waning moon

and morning church bells.

Past the elegant shop awnings,

and the shuttered windows

of sinking palazzos.

It sings into the ears

of songbirds and sleepers.

And enter the veins

of Grand and humble canals

in the calles, piazzas

and fondamentas.

Il piove,

il bello piove.



in Venezia


September 2007