Pt. Reyes Poems


Christopher MacDonald

The Rabbit

(North Beach)

The dead rabbit
Hopped-ripped up in the lazy tire
Gaze of my late model Chevy.
Creased with light for blinding dead-end second
Snapped in pieces about the floorboards
One moment’s movement so irrevocable as
To plead for all moments past.


I drove down the rode
So drunk with my own misery I caught
Only the hindsight hints of death
That sort of memory which seeps in slowly
Grows coldly within the red moments
Or not at all
If you’re not accustomed to its rigor.
So I went back
Back to the rabbit
Parked the car and stared down over him
Staring into his staring dead eye
Mourned his entrails bound separate in a dark green heap
Took note of his slipped-off severed bunny’s tail.


This is a dumb rabbit under a chevy’s wheel
This is us under the modern world way
Staring blanking at our death
(I knew that look)
Inmost being balled-up and detached
And our most delicate wit
Clipped by the unknowing dark
And the vehicles which lie inside
And all-around it.


It was only a rabbit
But the rabbit stays with me
Not because I am poetic
But simply because I am,
And I know the eye.


And I know.




(Abbots Lagoon)
Cow tamped
Coarse sand
Dimpled down to the
River’s edge
Where stalk and root
And lilies pillow
Bedding down to


The old barbed fence
Creaks with the wind
As the water silently
Snakes home.


I am a stranger
And the Crow
Asks me what I’m doing
Sitting here
In his marsh.


“Have you come to
White boy
Or will we soon
Be rid of you—
Back to your world of
Words and


I understand the
Pull of Mother Earth
The luxury that is
Simple being
Like the flow
of water
Or the glazed-eye cow
Or the green frog
outstretched in the
Delicate shallow.


By the sweet sweat of our
Piltdown brows
And out of the Ground of Being
Speaks: By toil shall
You eat from good
Mother Earth
But if the truth be known
Mother breaks our
Backs of hope
Looking for our Father
in Heaven.


So I am thankful
In the mid-breath of labor
For the silent water
And the pad and stalk
And for children
And the air off
The ocean.


I am so thankful
For my friend
And a good walk
And for the quiet


Can I take the river
with me?
Take back its


© Azotus Arts 1990