Peter Harris-Kunz lived in San Anselmo, California. His poems have appeared in Barnabe Mountain Review, convolvulus, Poetry at the 33, Steelhead Special and Yellow Silk.
He has been a fellow at the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in Temecula, CA.
He taught poetry to private students and co-facilitated a free-writing poetry workshop in San Rafael, CA.
not even ripe yet
touches of green on the shoulders
I pass them by
will wait a week or so
but leave the store still wanting their
Summer will be here soon
It will climb the hill as the air warms
and the breeze stills
Soon there will be basket on basket of
queen anne cherries
red flame grapes
We will take them in
as we take in the tongues of lovers
their sweetness invading our bodies
leaving us aching for more
At first its just dark
and I'm lonely for you
and all the logistics of life
your life, mine, the cat's,
those of the people next door
who turn in their
beds in the dark.
Then my eyes become accustomed
and I see that the hillside
outside this window
has begun to drink light.
It lies now
silver gray in the day's first stirrings
and nothing we say or do,
no problem we solve or do not solve
will stop it.
Whether dawn arrives in a
or through the billion grey prisms
of a steady rain,
whether we touch again
or turn away,
are blessed or wounded
light will find us.
All we are is light.
Oh, no, not the tips of my fingers into that
mouth of yours
perfect lips stretched across the imperfect arc
of your upper teeth
these fingers of mine anxious as
doves flushed out of manzanita
skitter across your chin, over the bridge of your nose
avoid your mouth for the sheer overload
but you ensnare them as they flutter up
bring them down and into
that sweet vestibule
"That's my weakness, I protest.
"That's a door." you whisper.
First appeared in Poetry at the 33 Review, Fall 95. Copyright, © Peter Harris-Kunz, 1996
Castor and Pollux
– for ElleryNight on the creek bank
between Inverness and Point Reyes Station.
My lights cut the silvered dark
of a three-quarter moon.
To the left, the creek slips into Tomales Bay.
To the right, the cleft of the San Andreas
climbs from the sea
into the cup of the valley.
Ahead, the stop sign and the turn toward home,
past places that for twenty years have been our markers-
the restaurant we stopped at,
the pond where we parted as lovers,
the ridge I walked along till past dusk,
feeling my way back.
in the white and unexpected glove of midnight fog,
the drum of winter rain-
these roads give up their history
as snatches of songs on a radio
give up bits of love left unrequited
so that cresting, as I do now, the top of the ridge,
becomes all the times I've crested it-
a composite bittersweet as the black vault of air
when the lightning leaves it.
I drop down now, past the bridge at Tocaloma
and into the woods,
the wall of the valley eating Orion,
pulling the constellation of the twins through the
tops of the trees.
I will go home and try to write of these things
but I will not be able to describe the lines
that reel back behind us, you and I,
into the whole history of night
where Castor and Pollux sail over the ridgetops,
calling to each other in the dark.
First appeared in Barnabe Mountain Review, December '95 Copyright, © Peter Harris-Kunz, 1996
SilverIt is winter and that burns slowly
– Cole Swensen, "January"lying on the bed
watching the moon rising
through the blinds in the dark of this
room I first moved into in summer
it feels for a moment
but here on my left side
lying here in my blue sweater
cold in my blue sweater
that cannot be
though I hardly noticed
It was clothed in wood smoke
there were shadows on the front stoop
there was mail disappearing
into the dark of the dining room table
then it was night too fast
and the moon was rising
you could see her
shining up from under the lip of the hill
no closer to the truth
look at the white of your own fingers
against the blue
you are holding onto yourself
see how you do it
see how the wing of the cupped hand
curls around the blue barrel of your sweater
beneath which your heart beats
if only to the air that holds you.
There must have been a welcoming song.
Maybe the Lakota or the Iroquois
when she rose above their lodges
gathered in their doorways
felt her silver on their skins
Copyright, © Peter Harris-Kunz, 1996