Bookends and In Between

40620D97-85B2-4BB4-900D-4A967B2426F7The bookends of your life
and in between
that one hovering tear
waiting to burn its way
to the surface
all these years

Those lips from which issued
what surprising tulips
what jagged rocks

Those holy hungers
in between
the prelude and the snapping shut

Those reconstructed memories
and silent demolition of darkest nights
but forgetting nothing
essential

The bookends of your life—
Bright unknowing yowl on one side
A quiet familiar yielding on the other

New Show: Ducks on the Wind

A28029C9-B324-4251-B144-C816D7AF76BDI’ve been watching this new show:
Waves on Water, Ducks on the Wind

Such realistic characters
you don’t even think they’re actors

When the coyote comes down to the water
to drink at dusk
and otters swim upstream
you believe them
and can really relate

Because really, who hasn’t been there?

I hope they continue it for another season.

They ended with a cliff-hanger, literally–
a man was on a cliff
hanging over the water
writing this poem.

Sunken Ship

C843ED64-8BC4-4274-9977-1FB27CCEE3B6According to a rusted iron voice
lodged in her throat
It might not have been good for her
to be a first-class passenger
on the one she didn’t board

The one that came and left
that was left floating cold
After harnessing all the wild winds
to find a safe harbor

That tried to dock without a clearance
or so much as a passport

That one sunk
on a strange and snowy night
joining all the others

and everyone knows—even hearts that play on Sundays—
that the bottom of the sea is cruel

THE EMERGENCES

F8ABE9F9-F6CA-4FCB-9DC7-F912EE7BD0FAThe emergences are conducting
their own journeys—
Wisdom teeth burrow out
into the world
Bodies are seized by monumental clouds
and the eyes of water click open
gazing up at the strangest birds

It happens whether I’m awake
or asleep—
the boletes pop their sex
through the earthy duff
ferns fiddle out their winter tunes

Venus rises as
bulky dreams sail to sea
and both come back to port for resupply

Regardless of my north or south
or my looking here or there
the flakes assemble themselves
perfectly
as if by a big magnet

Here, hair and scents
shove themselves towards others
Concrete curbs and foreign faces,
no trespassing signs and tree trunks
all become mirrors and allies
without any effort

Things plant themselves almost everywhen—now and now

Even now, inner reds of bones
and severe destinies all blunt
and bountiful
like shadows grow, as hail
forms and falls and fades

Like all the other beings in me
who stage their plays
on well-stretched sets
without a script

But that one in the dark cloak
hovers along the ridge
pointing his finger at me

If I run I’m doomed.

If I catch his kiss,
I join the ranks of resplendents
emerging like all the rest—
unwilled yet meant

FORGET ALL GLAMOUR

5D94675F-E7F9-4A25-8559-350720BCCFD2If you begin each chapter
with ‘And the moon comes
and the moon goes’

You, who climb horizons
even with stiff joints will find

It’s always a new world
As it’s always the old one

The responsibilities lay
in the soil now
and with the webbed ones
caught in fear

and through the new doorways
which you pass
You’ll pick up pieces left
in a foreign land so long ago

Put them in your wide-brim hat
and home in on your belonging

Become an obsessionate one
like a convict who loves his fate

Tie those dreamland suns
around your dirty girth
Fill your grotto with flocks of fire
for all of hunger’s cousins

Forget all glamour
not worrying about who
is pulling who

It is enough to receive Time’s wounds
and blessings
and breathe like an ocean

So, yes, let each chapter begin— ‘And the moon comes
and the moon goes’

And bear witness to the season
like a winter raven

HERE YOU CAN LAUGH IN FEBRUARY

078423B7-B365-4E70-B78B-3931A5746861Here you can laugh in February
the unexpected is to be expected—
a midnight creature leaves
bay nuts for you
and the creek is singing for its supper

woodpeckers and owls
tell you what time it is
but what about the new birds
that weren’t here in dark December?

You might think that February
is dreaming spring,
the equinox on her mind.

It’s easy enough to do
but not to get ahead of ourselves
is a good morning task—
February is dreaming February.

The season is laughing
stinging nettles
and coughing up hail

The month is grinning meadow flowers as pink ox eyes at dawn

and yes, a yellow saluting
affirmation of the still slanting sun
inching higher in the sky
day by day by day
like a toddler learning to stand

urging the arroyo willow
and wild currants
to see who can bud best
by the end of the month.

No, I’m not opposed to opening
my sun-starved belly to it all
skin smiling wildly
with mild stone fruit
freely singing its scent
into the canyon breeze
breathing.

Breathing
like only this season can

so see it while you can:

a one-tree performance
of Pink Petal Extravaganza
as the western wind applauds
and kicks his heels up
to play the eucalyptus
like a harp
and runs his fingers through
Cedar’s long hair
when he really gets aroused

and they seem to like being tickled in that way
letting out a moan
now and again
as if stretching for the first time.

It gives one ideas
on a February morning
here in the Nearby Faraway
which is not unlike a thousand
other mornings
that have come before
and will come after.

But it is.