Christopher Buckley’s most recent book is Spanish Notebook, Shabda Press, 2017.
  • Christopher Buckley’s most recent book is Spanish Notebook, Shabda Press, 2017.
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Looking West from Montecito, Late Afternoon

  • Beneath hills of agave and eucalyptus,
  • beneath the Spanish palms and walled estates,
  • I look across the bird refuge
  • to East Beach . . . mist in the channel
  • and only the outline
  • of the islands floating
  • vaguely on the blue, just above
  • the tide and spindrift
  • choruses of surf.
  • Half of everyone I’ve loved
  • is buried in the cemetery
  • on the cliff here,
  • or on the sea out there.
  • I remember the tangerine trees
  • just off the road
  • in Greenworth Place
  • the overgrown bamboo —
  • we’d drop our bikes
  • in the high wild grass and
  • the clouds would trail us
  • until we turned home
  • with the dark.
  • Now, I think
  • the gulls and white face coots
  • have as much of an inner life as I.
  • The clouds keep pressing.
  • I have been here 54 years —
  • I don’t know
  • that I want to go
  • anywhere else.

Drinking Champagne

  • When he first tasted sparkling wine, Dom Perignon
  • imagined he was drinking stars,
  • bubbles like pearls, rising through liquid the thin
  • color of beaten gold . . .
  • and now, overlooking the sea, the moon dribbling out
  • its dabs of light, fingering
  • the silk trees’ old thoughts, I feel it’s as close as we are
  • likely to come to celestial rewards,
  • though if I didn’t know better in my bones, I’d still
  • swear I would be the one
  • to get out of here alive, the one to forgive the stars
  • for misleading us all this time.

Christopher Buckley’s Star Journal: Selected Poems was published by the Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 2016. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry, two NEA grants, a Fulbright award in creative writing, and four Pushcart Prizes. His most recent book is Spanish Notebook, Shabda Press, 2017.

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