Note: The following poems were originally published in Lip no. 1 (1971): 107–19, following Ken Bluford’s “Essay with Tom Weatherly in It,” and collected under the heading “Weather.” — David Grundy


canto 32: tides
full moon 72
canto 22: lion’s head haiku
canto 27: freedom carol
canto 26: liner notes
canto 20: elder tree
canto 21: sapphire petal
for the hunt
canto 17: arroyo
canto 16: lexicunt
canto 12: pool doos paid
canto 31: honeymoon weather
canto 28: moonshine

canto 32.

talk that moonlight
talk lucia
walk, walk moonlight.

              full moon 72
                                              (for al koblin)

forty acres and a fox.

walk spook talk.


       canto 22.[1]
   lion’s head haiku

steam ahhhhh

       canto 27.
    freedom carol

i’d rather be wif you than wif me.


spook ride
spook ride
erie lackawanna.

     canto 26.[2]
   liner notes
                                  (for Paul Shalmy)

poetic unwary hawk
keen funky days
as funky days.

foxy ways; ground cover.

     canto 20.
     elder tree
                              (for Frank Wooten)

historical necessity
we all black got to
go coon huntn find
our grand sires.

got to get down
wif ’em.

   canto 21.
sapphire petal
                                          (for eSSence)

all th good fucks i wasted
on other good fucks. 

come home rooster my own moon
blue home down sister          poontang.

     for the hunt
                                                    (for nikki hitz edson)

nikki slapped me when we met
jumping from the chair i spat in
bitch i said that stuff is sweat
she say i know what i sat in.
say i’m crafty say i’m sly
muhammed ali couldn’t trap me
say my feet works fast but sigh
nikki slapped me.

          canto 17.[3]

tallest poet for his height
hang up he projected th body
on th page. jig &
real poems unrolld off his knuckles
in tall black
neighbor hoods
faces down on him
down wif pearly
mother cohen spinning william jim crow
jane in th morning. me tarzan.

     canto 16.[4]
                                (for creeley) 

one day fuck
will be like love

workd out
in formu-la-de-dah 

that spooon
that spooon

dustn out 

all over
back seat 

covers. pat
boone’s farm. 

& jimmy
just a dream 



bennet cerf impanel

th d a

that how they came

(accordn to their past

president nina 
simone) to this

mother fuckn land. 


th version mother

simone) to this
mother loving land

           canto 12.[5]
     pool doos paid
                                                 a birth poem

mudcat shango, his black pitch
attitude in state of grace
in th heart of the mountain. 

lion seidel, devil grin on
off fightn th lower
heaven expressway. 

ishmael reed bony mushrooms
shitface on moonseed
spookn coloured greens black dyed peas. 

spookn coloured greens black eyed peas.

peachtree payne swished
how it was wif catfish gravy,
accoustical blue guitar. 

& we spent out our honeymoon
on calle espana, old san juan tours
paved wif anvil petals, lil tomcat
shootn his shit in your veins
varicose tracks in your legs. 

out of scorpio & pisces
fuckd his way out of your pussy
     is awake now
this hard dick morning for me
the lil mothersucker won’t even leave
corners in your tits.
            he’s th balance
of our days. you lookn like a grandmom
pinch his foreskin 

we will die venerable   my pretty.

     canto 31.
honeymoon weather 

aria of wheedle, wing
of winnowing fan, malaria
weather storms the wind eye. 

melissa moore’s measure
is immune, a moon spoor
aloof, moot white, seafoam
woman-moth in green wine. 

“melissa, honey

     canto 28.[6]
                             (for Susan Christofferson) 

when you bojangle villanelle
talk that talk    moonlight
blind you walk in montreal. 

john th conk root oil
talk that talk    moonlight
when you bojangle villanelle. 

owl eyes lily white helen
talk that talk moonlight
blind you walk in montreal. 

“Lead Kindly Light” spell
talk that talk    moonlight
when you bojangle villanelle. 

sickle soul
talk that talk    moonlight
blind you walk in montreal. 

shitface on moonseed ale
talk that talk     moonlight
when you bojangle villanelle
blind you walk in montreal.

1. A revised version of this poem appears in Tom Weatherly, short history of the saxophone (New York: Groundwater Press, 2006).

2. A revised version of this poem appears in short history of the saxophone.

3. First published (without the designation  “canto 17”) in Tom Weatherly and Ted Wilentz, eds., Natural Process: An Anthology of New Black Poetry (New York: Hill and Wang, 1970), 143.

4. Also published in Ploughshares 1, no. 2 (1972): 26–27.

5. First published (without the designation “canto 12”) in Weatherly and Wilentz, Natural Process, 144–45.

6. A revised version of this poem appears in short history of the saxophone.