Even between the two climates,

The descent past the level of pines

Into the grand canyon

And the burned, nowhere-to-go grass

On these Californian hills

Can be talked of in terms

Of cartoon facial hair.


After dawn we descended past the

Five-o’clock-shadow of snow on pines,

Until it was just damp canyon walls

And clay puddles under foot,

And several days later

I glimpse those cocoa-hills, comprehensive

In their dry patience for winter:

Grey, like a gangster’s chin.