The Outdoor Poet: Ken Weisner

Moonless Night, Corralitos, Summer 1964

Bobcat, great horned owl, coyote
stare down at children,
twisted lumps in sleeping bags,
as un-alert as breathing stones.

Who prickles up like nape fur
at a crackle in the bush? Let music be music!
Deer, woodrat, mountain lion… quail…
The brush rustles & the thickets creak.

At four-years-old, the stars were music.
Finally my mother had to explain
about the sound of crickets.
Which tale to believe?

She conceded the misunderstanding
had a kind of sense. Loved for not-knowing,
who needs a mantra? Sleep well, child.
Stars to crickets, as crickets to stars.

About The Poet Ken Weisner first fell in love with the Santa Cruz Mountains in the early sixties at a camp up Eureka Canyon called Venture Valley. He is author of two volumes of poetry from Hummingbird Press, The Sacred Geometry of Pedestrians (2002) and Anything on Earth (2010). Ken’s work has appeared on Sam Hamill’s “Poets Against the War” website, in The Music Lovers Poetry Anthology (Persea, 2007), on "The Writer’s Almanac" (August 6, 2010), and most recently in issues of Phren-Z, Chicago Quarterly Review, and Porter Gulch Review. Ken also teaches writing and edits Red Wheelbarrow through De Anza College.

The Outdoor Poet is edited by Robert Sward, author of numerous books of poetry including, most recently, New and Selected Poems: 1957-2011 (Red Hen Press). He lives on the Westside with his wife, the artist Gloria Alford, and a poodle mix named Cosette. Participation in The Outdoor Poet is by invitation.

Photo by Jenny Mealing on Flickr

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Love this poem, how it shows the wisdom of childhood.


Wow Ken, great to see how you revised this poem since I last saw it. Quietly moving.