I don’t remember being born, only the great dog whose fur I clung to.

Road’s End

The roads have come to an end now, they don’t go any farther.

Saving Planet Earth

The clock kept ticking, and the investors bailed out one by one.

Sedna in Space

It takes you more than ten thousand years to orbit the sun.

Sixth-Grade Public Speaking

Whales are very big (I saw one on a beach once) but trash is way bigger.


A Midwestern man is never without his knife. Half of us carry guns.

Something Distinctly Human

I was created in His image I had dominion over every thing

Still Life with Gratitude

Death will come for us so fast we will never be able to outrun it.


Long and black, almost thick, the night comes to drape my shoulders.

The Arctic Variations

I have seen your ocean. I have heard your waves beside my bed.

The Bone Trees

The trees were a sign from the devil, a warning of the terror to come.

The End of Lake Superior

It was cool and dark, azalea in bloom at the edge of the forest.

The End of the World in Slow Motion

This itchy voice, this desperate chant, that begs: okay. Okay.

The Idea of Antarctica

Pinned to the wall, it looks uncannily its own language, trick of the camera.

The Merwin Conservancy

Merwin discovered and restored eighteen acres of abandoned land.

The Resemblance of the Enzymes of Grasses to Those of Whales Is a Family Resemblance

This morning I watched two elephants dance the boogie-woogie.

The Wilderness around Us and Other Poems

In the backyard I submerge myself in a bathtub of soil, soak with the hose.

There but for the Grace of God Go I, Tethered by Human Sympathy

Grasshoppers tumble from the reeds, snapping like electricity.


My own hunger was for a reduction in the vast space between people.


My own hunger was for a reduction in the vast space between people.

Two Poems

These natives have the smiles we haven’t seen since we were children.


I am subject to you in the way the water is subject to the moon.

Water for New Delhi

“You know what they say about
free health care. It costs money.”

Whale Shark

We pull up alongside the great body. The fin marks the spot.

What We Once Needed to Know

We are good at thinking we can stay. We are good at finding hurt.

When I Lose and Other Poems

Re: murdering democracy, oiling the shore, shearing the rain forest.

When You Can No Longer Talk about It, You Have to Sing

I had forgotten how to breathe, and then I learned again, all at once.

Who Are You With?

Lydda, when she closes her eyes, has traded one war zone for another.

You Don’t Miss Your Water (’Til the Well Runs Dry)

We began to obsess over water, where it came from, where it was going.

You’re Part of This Too

It was the way of the world: everybody wanted someone else.