8. [6



3 Love Poems 


Et Cum Spiritu Tuo

Progress Report







There are the stars

the moon

the wind

and the pine tree.

The wind blows

one pine needle rubs the next

the stars and the moon transport their light

through momentary years of pure and empty space

to each other

to me

I will become the wind and the pine trees.




I would probably never leave this cycle of whirling endeavors

by choice

even if I could float with stars

or fly with the wind in gusts of scattered ashes.

Sometimes, though, if tired, having lost the vision of what

I should be, or if the hoop-wavers with their rings of daily

demands leave me tripping in sawdust piles of dreaded

indentures, and only prayers for the inflicted spark to die

pass over my string of worn beads, then it’s the thought of you

that keeps me here, looking to the dawn that will find us together




What I despised before

if now connected with you

I prize.

What shall I do, when by chance you meet your love’s life?

Where is my love to rest?

Will I wander shores where my green tree is left to blanche?



Stephen Frost 1972
San Francisquito Canyon, California




10[8] Ariel Vision



a spider floats down

across a window





n-  across

It comes into sight then disappears.

With a chorus of scraping chairs , we rise…



Got to stay fit though,

work helps, running too.

The dog runs behind me,

dog is older now and limps

but there is a tail arched joy

for him in these runs

sniffing, smelling, leaving smells to be sniffed…

Crows fly low, circling occasionally

down the river bed dry this time of year,

in the morning doesn’t feel dry.

Cottonwoods root in the sand and gravel

that cover a flow of water.

It’s getting lighter,

crazy loud crows,

don’t know enough to be quiet just before the dawn.

The mocking birds must sing all night.

Maybe they’re nightingales.

The sun is coming up.

Wonder what I look like running along here…

I can see my shadow behind me along the road.


Part 1

Slide the yellow grass hill

down to the city

wrap mist around the soul

shroud the consideration of ought and should

until morning

push the thigh shoving sigh up…

what of who or when?

Dark road

chestnut horse stud

big in the standing stall

cold dream

Oleander buds pop red for spring.



It’s such a strange blue light

the wall of the room seems to be a barrier of space

gray blue

solid yet not so

so old

What place is this?

What strange mountain light?

What whistling visage of passing flight?

A mild avenue of ghostly light,

holding each form as an animal in a womb,

sparkling as from last night’s rain.

What image could not pass the tourist by in this mysterious light.


Because I climb a cage of stairs

Because I climb

Because I climb

and strive to strive…


The aqueous movement of clouds

The piling high of clouds

as wave

as whipping large of sea weed.

So large in the push of the wind,

held between spheres of mysterious intent.

A man fingered his nose

his eye

his other eye

examined his finger after each

pinched his pants to his scrotum

watched the rainfall

from the high floor

of the unfinished high-rise


The lake

reeds and water

forming an order in my thought





forever the reed

forever the light


Hills vibrate incessantly

with the excitement of light

Quiet distant mountain

The Fall


the other Fall is from Love

(re-build the church

hold the chalice

plant one frozen block on top of the last

watch it fall in the wind)

In my stuttering affluence of emotion

I acknowledge all I lack

and happily admit that having just left you

miss you

and want you back.

That I loved and was not loved is enough

The tower of Babel was breached

For an instant there was a shouting of joy that filled our

lonely cells

Down the narrow marble hall

and into the church

with that quiet sigh, nearly inaudible, that tells so much.


Hills vibrate

In the migraine of my thought

I can leave you walking on young green fields

leave all that is less than sparkling

and find again the hard rail up…

dreams stranger than…. terrifying

…lies in the field, once plowed

but such…

In that passing moment I

see our mother weeping in bed

the years of her loneliness,

the hoped for joy gone sour

the close-hearted pressures of those close

the shy green grass joy turned gray

All this came tearing back to me

so that I could only sob uncontrollably.

After the diffusion of night

the hills vibrate incessantly

with the excitement of light

Winter winds beat down last spring’s grass

matt it to turf

light and air surround the new sprouts.


(In the wood, upon a bracken-covered slope,

a boy tripping

clutching that which rips….

The water is dark

another friend is lost

must search again the broken ark.)


The sun for a sightful instant

pierces from behind an ancient bell tower

mind, sanctity


closed within a skull

Behold the glistening within the forest

and the boy climbing the hill

lost among the rocks

Behold the rocks and the chase.

The forest stinks of rotten wood

supporting all manner of vegetation

within is the glistening

that narrow beam

that eyeful beam

seen by few

I am naked and singing

I am alone but not

I am clean in the light

I am–

I desire

but so quickly sold?

ready to barter

with God or philosophy

for a fresh clean loin

We have seen the fair flesh

We have been the fair flesh

young, succulent

(all bastards are washed clean in

this torrential down pour

as the streets of the dirty city)

Still is the glistening light.



A man steps to the urinal

thrusts forward his hips

follows an ancient ritual of excretion

empty rooms

I have climbed the temple stairs…

a summer, a spring

I have laid on cool white sheets

listened, watched, felt, the processes

of my brown body

could almost feel the fat stretch the skin.

winter, spring

My gaze dragged over his loin

Stephanie is in my thoughts

Desire is nothing…

fits his pants well

a cycle ages

I shall live above

the rotting wood

having seen the glistening within

and knowing the forest…

Oh! those blistered hills

that sever every connection

beyond the desert,

each mound a festering sore

each runs into each

Distance holds the quiet mountain

in the empty mission cells

the shouts of children

echo against the walls

Oleander buds pop red for spring.



Gulls squabble in spiral order

above the garbage dump

far from the sea.

In that moment of confession

beneath the arbor

with my friend my tutor

the terror of my past was released

held before me

Point of contact

excitement of friction



Oh! How that Indian woman talked

about the market and the exchange rate perhaps

How they laughed

she patted his hand and his knee

Constant thrap thrap

of the river pump, watering the fields

The afternoon is quiet along the river

but for distant children playing

and birds calling to one another


Fog desert

sand water

alike in the wind

The desert

Barren solitude


I left the rest

walked on the Peruvian desert

beyond the power poles and further

I turned for an instant

the road was gone

The high fog hid the sun

I was alone without direction

(Don’t go. I’m almost old.

you like me..

the others know me, know all I’ve done


The dry river, gravel

Torn in gullies to the ocean

The desert falls to the ocean

The cliff crumbles to rocks and sand

The sea beats against the cliff.


There is an edifice

a church

with stone stairs and pillars

St. Francis’ day

A statue of the saint in the image of Pius XII

Sitting with Egyptian rigidity in an ancient hall

celebration of the saint’s day

the celebrants stand on the stairs

and inside the church,

delirious with adoration

A crowd surging backwards

from the church portal

Christ in the image of a statue appears from the door

stiff wooden huge

with a painted face

old varnished paint

the image falters

the face amazed

passes close to mine

rebuking the adoration.



A moth beats its wings against the window pane.

A hummingbird sits on a branch looking from behind a leaf.

Gnats swarm in mobile circles beneath a tree.

There bursts the cotyledon

a red bud bursts

ready with pistil and stamen

a barn owl



dark shadow after sunset,

a mouse scurries through the wild oat fields


All is ready



again we rise


with a chorus of scraping chairs

we rise.

Steve Frost
San Francisquito Canyon,California 1973



First Series 49 [13.40]


Et Cum Spiritu Tuo

 Sea cliffs no longer reach above the pounding, crashing day

but are nearly covered by the tidal lay.


Earthy substance is saturated and crumbling.


One green-leafed branch is wrapped to a mainstem in the wind,

branched from a tree otherwise bare or sporting bright dead leaves.


Ants pull cold pebbles over their holes.


I stand in a dry field,

a morning breeze slightly rustles dormant weeds,

from every side comes the click of mysterious insects

reviving on dead plants.



weed fields contain muted salmon, pale green and yellow weeds.


Color is held in mild suspension.


The cherries have fallen.


We wait.


Canterbury is crowded this year.


In a dark room, old women wait. I wave to a friend. She and all the rest wave back– with crooked hands, bulging knuckles.


Young boys run down the street shouting:

“I have come, I have cum,”

like some noisy prophets

calling us to God.


The roots have pushed the river mud aside leaving a trench

for desperate souls who seek a path.


Indolent tarantula is drugged

dragged forth and back by orange and black wasps. They fight life battles over the corpse.


Bloody green blades push their way through rocky hymens

even while winter winds still blow.


“It’s cold in this place, cold!

I know the spring is coming but I hate the cold”


We are left bleeding in the womb

in this passage to light, again,

we are left bleeding.


A solitary hawk stationed in the air against the wind

maintains a position


A wall stands

topping even treetops

holds a hill

contains a courtyard

palace grounds

olive trees surround the wall

a circus is filmed in the court

color and sound

red and yellow

clowns to entertain

sane director, ringmasters


The exit is blocked

I cannot drive my car away from the grounds.

The clowns are chasing me

I run along the wall


run the wall

afraid to …

so far to the soft grass



hills covered with yellow grass

waves of warm summer air

lift from grass

among the trees


The circus wall that holds

is not so high

as think the prisoners

afraid to fall.


Dominus Vobiscum–


It’s when the demands of dull daily patterns leave me

“an old man in a dry month”

that I rebuke this bright passage between two dark holes and

can only envision the final fall.

But other times, I remember the cover-tossing joy

holding you or talking to you

then, I laugh in the morning light

hardly able to wait for the next bright dance to come

hardly able to wait for my next chance to fold myself in your arms


Et cum spiritu tuo



Steve Frost
San Francisquito, California 1972


Strider  (Dragon Painting II) Oil on Canvas 5' x 4' 1974

9[7] Strider
(Dragon Painting II)
Oil on Canvas 5′ x 4′ 1974



A day settles down

cage birds fluff their feathers

under cover

one star in sight

just outside the fading light.

I have studied my Italian

eaten my diet dinner

called the people I should

written that letter of inquiry

drawn all I would

read the same.

I am waiting

and writing to disguise the fact that I am waiting

and writing possibly to terminate the waiting

and waiting to see if this writing turns into anything.

(pause, deep breath)

There is a girl I know,

who, while I was in South America,

I would think about at night on those long bus rides.

Harry was across the aisle with Lucia.

Luciano had gone off to Brazil

with that beautiful, red-headed, French, girl’s gym teacher.

I would conjure up images of an unconnected line

lose my conscious self in the bus like a forgotten sweater

and wander in the cold-night landscape outside

where it was almost light,

pick-up meandering phantoms and hold them between components

of gray-matter.

She was an elusive papillion.

I was tripping over rocks with net in hand.

She was the only sparkling prod in my lost lobal lumps

that was able to initiate a welling up from deep electricated

passages, tripping running fumbling from the tongue,

unexpectedly to fall on the dinner table,

the word


connubial joy, and responsibility

She was the one who excited me to the point of not being

boring or bored with the state of males and females

chasing, checking, tasting one another.

She works on a help line with people who need it

She is conversant in French and English. She mimes and acts well

is generally sympathetic.

I have fallen off curbs looking at her.

She is the only one who fits into the above mentioned categories

and is in love with another man,

considering me such a very good friend.

Well, we all need friends.

And what do I care

I am waiting to have my resumes received and filed

and while waiting for the master’s program information

from those possibly green-leaved colleges to arrive

I’m waiting to make enough money to rent a studio

and for the Ester Robles Gallery to get over her flu so that I may

ask her to look at my drawings.

It is a serious possibility that I should, while I am

waiting, forget all this, my family, my friends, and become

a brother at the monastery.

Apparently one doesn’t need to know Latin anymore, and

I hear that those Benedictines respect the Arts.

In the mean time I’ve started another drawing, have plans for a large painting, and am in air-sucking delight with this year’s yellow-gray-black cottonwoods and the almost white-yellow of last years wild oats engulfing the southside hill sage and yucca plants.

I am waiting for spring

not that winter isn’t nice

I like the cold wind rain, smogless freezing days.


 San Francisquito Canyon, California, 1973


118 [47] Brainfield