tree lace

A tree to trace, eye along
the line, the lace
Photo: Frangipani, Hong Kong

building, clothing

Buildings dressed.
Photo: Scaffolding seen from Bowen Road, Hong Kong

drawing light

Roots above, across our walk.
Photo: Reflection off glass building, Mongkok

heavy feet

Looks like the footstool has gone through,
into the sidewalk, into the earth.
Like someone's life was heavy.
Photo: New Orleans

lit white

Maybe every museum is a holy place. This one reminds me of the times when we lit white candles on the Tannenbaum.
Photo: Entrance area, LA County Museum of Art

Occupy Hong Kong

Since 15 October, they have been living at HSBC,
1 Queen's Road, Central District. They are living a happy life, they say. They have made a home, with bedrooms (tents), 2 sofas, book shelves, a computer area. Last night they held a community kitchen, with beautiful food brought by friends and supporters. One friend brought a huge organic pomelo grown at Kadoorie Farm. Another, living plants and compost from Lantau. And I, a huge pot of veggie soup from Tai Hang. Today, there's a workshop on how to pickle turnips. The residents will also be picking wild plants for their food, and collecting the discarded butts of vegetables from nearby markets.
Photo: A chair on a sidewalk, Hong Kong

musical clips

This music lives downstairs from my home.
Photo: Fabric wrapped around a hawker's stall, Tai Hang, Hong Kong

the room

Tiny, the room feels more for interrogation than song.
Photo: Karaoke Room, 12 Oil Street, Northpoint, site of the former
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, soon to be the site of the Arts Promotion Office

I love them more

I heard Maurice Sendak the other day,
the author of 'Where the Wild Things Are'.
He said, 'I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people.
They leave me and I love them more.'
Photo: Honkawa schoolgrounds, a school in Hirsohima
Text: From an NPR interview with Maurice Sendak, 83, and in remembrance of my Uncle Philip (1929-2011)

make a reason

Make a reason to celebrate.
Photo: Opening of exhibition, Japan
Text: I celebrate xtn's birth and friendship.

tennis desk

I have loved ping pong, table tennis, and we have kept such a table ready in the basement. When I see this one outdoors, my love for sport and for word comes forward:
wouldn't the table make a great big desk?
Photo: Lantau Island

mattress glass

How I love to see, first with the eye-mind,
then with the lens, and once again
in the image.
Photo: Dusk in Taipei

cranes in the light

She asks me if there will be another atomic bomb, and I say
I do not know. I say we have to do what we can to stop it from happening. The next day she makes origami cranes and gives them away to new friends.
Photo: Origami cranes behind glass, Hiroshima


I love the word 'yes' and a friend loves 'but'.
(Also see entry for 3 September)
Photo: Cornish, Maine

eyes and trophies

She calls this room a trophy room.
I look into the eyes of each animal,
including my own.
Photo: A neighbo(u)r's home, Maine

palm of a world

I saw this palm frond yesterday
on the ground, and couldn't walk past
the world of it without saying hello.
Photo: Frond next to a football pitch, Hong Kong


I like these ovals,
wading, swimming.
Photo: Net, fence, hose, New Zealand

the lunar now

 But now let us cross over
and invest this world where
everything is lunar
Photo: Owhiro Bay, New Zealand
Text: Rainer Maria Rilke, 1909

no fear

Let our first act this morning
be this resolve: I shall not fear
anyone on earth...
I shall not bear ill-will towards anyone.
I shall not submit to injustice
from anyone.
Photo: Classroom, Laos
Text: Mahatmi Gandhi

to reach

A friend of mine begins a holiday.
I wish her, and I wish all of us,
the time and space to reach.
Photo: L in the van she drives, New Zealand


A lung.
Deep and full.
Photo: Our deck, Sebago Lake, Maine

whittemore steps

Maybe thirty years ago, my parents bought a little land beside a lake. Slowly, finally, a house
was made. And hammocks, decks, steps.
This hemlock has lived here all along.
Photo: Whittemore Cove, Maine

rosy food

Those two black shapes
almost look like keys to press.
Click. Instant rosy dinner.
Photo: A Queenslander house, Australia

night breathing

Trees in the night.
We breathe so softly.
Photo: Tree and gas/petrol station, Statesboro, Georgia, USA

cells of one very living thing

The annual June 4th vigil. Hong Kong.
Our one hundred and fifty thousand tended candles are like cells of one very living thing, in unqualified freedom.
Photo: Flowers near a bomb shelter, Paradise Street, Stuttgart, Germany

solid and silver

Could be a doorknob, a tael, or the top 
of a silver head. All solid, sure, us.
Photo: For rope, on a ferry across the Mississippi River, Louisiana

wearing wool

I am wearing a handwoven wool sweater as I type.
This is freshly sheared wool, in other colo(u)rs.
Photo: Wool, Carterton, New Zealand


Sometimes I want to be a tree.
Photo: At the Miro Museum, Barcelona

like mother, like daughter

I put my foot on each carpet.
Photo: A hallway in a hotel, Urumqi 
Text: p.s. My mother would do the same thing.

blue is

Blue is everything we cannot touch.
Photo: The concrete structure is a communal area
of an American Indian reservation, New Mexico, USA
Text: Opening of poem 'Seeing blue' in the 'colo(u)r' series

The center of China is mud

All day, dust lands on Hubei
The center of China is mud

He sits by a field of lotus stalks
Where a whole lake disappears to haze

He walks to The Long River in the rain
Where a man curls up under the army pier

He ponders through a museum
Where a dynasty fell

All day, his words finger the air
To see if they can live

And as the day deepens, he begins to sing
Tonight, in his poem, there is more space

Photo: Entrance and parking lot of a new museum, Shandong, China
Text: 'The Center', written for a friend from Wuhan, in Hubei, China

I know these clouds

A man walks into a room, sees
this photograph, and says,
'I know these clouds. It's Paris.'  
Photo: Scaffolding nets, rooftop, Centre Pompidou
The image is part of my 'delicate access' series,
exhibited in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore

like a man I want to love

I took this image near a train line in southwest USA,
around midday, as I recall, but the mood reminds me
of late winter in China, and the poem 'North',
which starts, 'milky air / silent plains /
it could be snow / this might be another country....
and the train hums like a man I want to love'.
Yesterday, I boarded a northbound train in New Zealand, disembarking ninety minutes later, in darkness.
I watched the headlights of the train search north.
Farther, farther.
Photo: A backyard in New Mexico 
Text: Click here to read the whole poem 'North'
but I have since changed the ending to 'and snow has landed'

suburbed cube

Each suburbed cube
holds its life a little differently.
I translate that as an invitation:
Come, see who I am.
Photo: Driveway, North Island, New Zealand
Text: Excerpt from an abandoned poem

the moon is always full

Last night, the moon was full.
As tonight, and every. And yet.
Photo: Fruit in plastic, Los Angeles

taking this big ferry

skyscraper shore
engine drum

your quiet seat
engine drum

rain pats the ocean
engine drum

city big ship lights
engine drum

I want to find you in the cold wind channel
but all the waves are going the other way

I never see who is driving me home

Photo: Jordan Ferry, Hong Kong
Text: 'Taking this Big Ferry' is from my book, 'Delicate Access'
I used to take two ferries to get to my home. Slow, wide, wooden seats, open to ocean wind. The photograph records the first ride, on an old vehicular ferry, which used to run from Jordan District to Central District. The poem is set on the second one, from Central District to my carless island, fifty-minutes away, the engine soothing, the captain always unseen.

mother, mothering

We have two cows, always together. Both mother the other, biologically or socially. Sometimes they groom each other,  eyes all dreamy. This is Binny, who bellows every so often for grass or hay, for self, and mother, one or two years older.
Photo: Binny, a steer, Carterton, New Zealand


Ten past eight.
Quarter past nine.
Ten twenty. 
Photo: Jumping poles for horses, New Zealand

the river and me

Nile, Rhine, Yangtze, Waingawa, Tongariro, Mississippi, Thames. There are many rivers that stay with me.
And crossing a wide one is like an extra birthday. 
Photo: Algiers Ferry crossing the Mississippi River at New Orleans

blue stars

... And stars hang like pretty teenagers
waiting for their chance
Photo: Hydrangea, The Wairarapa, New Zealand
Text: excerpt of my poem 'The Great Rann'

fly, fly

Last night, we looked at fields of stars from our field of grass.
 Two satellites were seen. One shooting star. New wind,
after hot stillness. And the sprinklers ran overnight
on the neighbouring pastures.
Photo: Sculpture at entrance of a swimming pool, China

I am thinking of Hong Kong

A leader has just died, and some of the people who have respected him are unable to come and mourn him.
His name is Szeto Wah.
I am thinking of him. I am thinking of Hong Kong, a society
I have respected for its courage.
Please, have courage. 
Photo: The view from a friend's home, Tsimshatsui, Hong Kong

let us count

the search wants to end with a fifty-year-old hand living
    on a woman's thigh         let us count their loved years

and let us count the dust on a construction man's surrendered shoulders, on his mouth open in shock, his red eyes,
blacker eyelashes: he is dying, dying tonight, while the Wednesday horses cover his newsprint with prayer and fate                 
                                                        win, this moment, win

Photo: Construction site, Hong Kong
Text: The end of the poem 'Subway Searching' published in 'Delicate Access'
(Wednesday is a horse racing, and betting, day in Hong Kong)


What is a photographer but a guardian.
Photo: Hydrant, Peng Chau, Hong Kong

wet red

At dusk, things seem to seep.
Photo: Tomatoes, Suzhou, China