Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Morning Reading: "The tree has grown twice as high/As the roof"

Away this weekend with old friends with whom I was young once long ago, in Santa Monica, Venice, the westside of Los Angeles where the city runs to the sea. This poem is for them. Tomorrow we'll be up in Yosemite, together once again, camping, watching our young children run beneath the old trees.

Only Years
by Kenneth Rexroth

I come back to the cottage in
Santa Monica Canyon where
Andrée and I were poor and
Happy together. Sometimes we
Were hungry and stole vegetables
From the neighbors' gardens.
Sometimes we went out and gathered
Cigarette butts by flashlight.
But we went swimming every day,
All year round. We had a dog
Called Proclus, a vast yellow
Mongrel, and a white cat named
Cyprian. We had our first
Joint art show, and they began
To publish my poems in Paris.
We worked under the low umbrella
Of the acacia in the dooryard.
Now I get out of the car
And stand before the house in the dusk.
The acacia blossoms powder the walk
With little pills of gold wool.
The odor is drowsy and thick
In the early evening.
The tree has grown twice as high
As the roof. Inside, an old man
And woman sit in the lamplight.
I go back and drive away
To Malibu Beach and sit
With a grey-haired childhood friend and
Watch the full moon rise over the
Long rollers wrinkling the dark bay.



Bureau of Public Secrets said...

Many more of Rexroth's poems (and other writings) are online at


Robbi said...

Thanks Lisa. Hope you had a nice time.

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