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The gulls and white face coots have as much of an inner life as I

Two poems by Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley’s most recent book is Spanish Notebook, Shabda Press, 2017.
Christopher Buckley’s most recent book is Spanish Notebook, Shabda Press, 2017.

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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Christopher Buckley’s most recent book is Spanish Notebook, Shabda Press, 2017.
Christopher Buckley’s most recent book is Spanish Notebook, Shabda Press, 2017.

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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