by Gary Snyder

Finally floating in cool water
red sun ball sinking 
through a smoky dusty haze

rumble of bigrigs,
constant buzz of cars on the 5;
at the pool of Motel 6
in Buttonwillow,
south end of the giant valley,
ghost of ancient Lake Tulare

sunset      splash.


“Day’s Driving Done” appears in DANGER ON PEAKS, poems by Gary Snyder (Shoemaker Hoard Publishing, 2004). In the photo above, Gary Snyder reads from the collection.

Here’s the book description from

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, bioregional activist, Zen Buddhist, and reluctant counterculture guru, Gary Snyder has been a major artistic force in America for over five decades, extending far beyond the Beat poems that first brought his work into the public eye.

Danger on Peaks begins with poems about Snyder’s first ascent of Mount St. Helens in 1945 and his learning that atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the morning of his descent. Containing work in a surprising variety of styles, creating an arc-shaped trail from these earliest climbs to what the poet calls poems “of intimate, immediate life, gossip and insight,” Danger on Peaks is Snyder’s most personal work ever.

Born on May 8 1930, Gary Snyder turns 83 today — and we’d like to wish this superb poet a very happy birthday.