Egrets at Bolinas Lagoon
They looked like callas or tulips
you could gather with a fist
or white amaryllis
you could snip from their shimmering
place in the world
you could slip from their stems
with sharp scissors
but they were toiling
the salt under-veins, tunneling
the weedy caverns
with yellow pickaxes
a shining nugget
I thought of Van Gogh again:
"Making progress is like miner’s work."
The birds that glowed like headlamps
were transformed by those alchemical
words, into painters and poets.
That same night
I woke nauseous, in a sweat,
with all the old worries.
− from The Fortunate Islands