Delta Breeze


After a week where the temperature topped 105 degrees each day with little cooling at night, we are all so grateful to welcome back the Delta Breeze, the delightful wind that courses up from San Francisco Bay along the Sacramento River to grace our valley with a natural air conditioner on blessed summer evenings.

I wrote this poem over a decade ago.  It was published in a collection put out in 2001 by Sacramento’s first poet laureates Dennis Schmitz and Viola Weinberg, entitled, The Sacramento Anthology:  One Hundred Poems.  Hope you all like it.

Delta Breeze

Tonight you sit on the front steps

facing south

beckoning me

with your dry lips

your moist fingers.

I am already here

but I am still

and you do not recognize me.

I press against your skin,

a sweaty companion:

I am hot and heavy handed;

you crave a lighter touch.

Yet I fill your nose and mouth

slip into your lungs

course through your veins.

I drift in.

I drift out.

I am conscious

of everything

and nothing.

You imagine me with human emotions:

anger or tenderness.

I have no desire, jealousy, passion.

But I know joy.

I whisper to the poplars

as I braid their leafy hair

in the meadow.

I fill the bones of the raptor,

glide above

the sequoia and pine,

dive into a red

and brown canyon.

I mate with the river,


through the gills

of salmon and trout.

You give me many names:

zephyr, tempest, squall.

I roll over your tongue

as you call me.

In August

I am a god in this valley.

At 9 PM

I stretch my heavy

muscles and rise

creating space

for another manifestation

of myself.

From San Francisco Bay

I rush

along the spread fingers

of the Sacramento River.

You pull back your curtains,

open your windows

in the darkness

and You welcome Me

like Bethlehem

welcoming starlight.


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