Author Archives: kaweah

Jeffers and Fire

Here’s the presentation that I delivered (in part, having run out of time) at the 20th conference of the Robinson Jeffers Association in Carmel, California on February 16, 2014. It might interest anyone into Robinson Jeffers, the Central Coast of California, fire, Moby-Dick, Heraclitus, Zoroastrianism, etc. Fire as God in the Poetry of Robinson Jeffers […]

Original Sin

To the poet Robinson Jeffers, the eagle is a symbol of something like divine consciousness. Man, in contrast, is more like an inauspicious microbe. Man and eagle do have this in common: they both use fire. This is obvious in the case of man. For Jeffers, the eagle is an opportunist, seeking game and carrion […]

The Advent of Stone

a trap so baited was laid to catch you when the world began, before the granite foundation [1] Before the granite was bedded to build the world on [2] age-reddened granite that was the world’s cradle [3] One of the themes that appeared in earnest when Robinson Jeffers published Tamar and Other Poems was the […]

Elijah’s Burnt Offerings

When our son Michael was ten years old, he’d been given a school assignment to find two poems. When I saw what Michael had found I was a little shocked. Soon after that, his teacher reported to us that Michael’s choices weren’t appropriate for 5th grade. They were both Jeffers poems. If memory serves, one […]


They breathe only what can be inhaled from others. That is their way. When you had no more air for them, their memory of you was a bible. They buried the book and mourned it as you lay breathless, solitary, according to their law. They encircled their book, making weeping sounds, embalming it in silk […]


In the desert there is much sun    but little fire. Look to where the sea clouds Spray the earth, there The sun stores its spark In grasses, shrubs, trees, And bakes them    till it escapes. © 2013 Kaweah  

Hotel Jericho

Old Jacksonboro Road crosses the Savannah Highway within a half hour of Charleston. The junction has a name: Jericho. Today it is considered part of the town of Adams Run (as though you know where that is).   Jericho was once the site of a hotel, a store with gas pumps named Caison’s Groceries, and […]

I have a secret don’t tell

The boy doesn’t like girls, but then he’s only eleven. He’s very punctual about school attendance, always leaving by twenty after, never a minute later. That’s far more than he needs to get to school on time. I guess he gets in a basketball game before class (you know, boys). Sometimes he forgets his homework […]

holy water

Above the porcelain font and the laughing gargoyle, the stone words warn, Do not feed the fool. So thoughtless to let his heart     off its leash for your modest gift, to let his eyes be detained by the gentle glint of your mercy. © 2013 Kaweah  

Isle of the Griffins

Somewhere on the edge of the ancient world, not far from Paradise, there is a rugged island of gold, pearls, giants, griffins, and Amazons. From time to time, the island has taken on a new name. Early in the 16th Century, a Spanish novelist by the name Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo christened her California: In […]