Few things that grow here poison us.
Most of the animals are small.
Those big enough to kill us do it in a way
Easy to understand, easy to defend against.
The air, here, is just what the blood needs.
We don’t use helmets or special suits.
The Star, here, doesn’t burn you if you
Stay outside as much as you should.
The worst of our winters is bearable.
Water, both salt and sweet, is everywhere.
The things that live in it are easily gathered.
Mostly, you can eat them raw with safety and pleasure.
Yesterday my wife and I brought back
Shells, driftwood, stones, and other curiosities
Found on the beach of the immense
Fresh-water Sea we live by.
She was all excited by a slender white stone which:
“Exactly fits the hand!”
I couldn’t share her wonder;
Here, almost everything does.
From Ring of Bone: Collected Poems (New & Expanded Edition), edited by Donald Allen © 2012 by the Estate of Lew Welch.