Monthly Archives: May 2017

IN-BEWTEEN (reblog)



                    A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told
                    a thousand times becomes the truth.

                           – Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, Nazi Germany

Remove yourself.
Go outside alone.
Find a flowerbed,
some earth to turn
with your hands.
See history fall
between your fingers:
old leaves and roots,
bugs and worms—
this is truth.

Out here,
we watch money
come and go,
but a man’s word
is all he is,
his handshake bond—
once broken
not depended on,
of little use.
Twice broken
he is scorned,
ostracized and ignored.

Life must be too easy
to entertain deceit
on stage, to play
with humanity.
Out here, we know
the ending—
but not what happens

                                        for Leonard Durso


Haystack Owls…








First cup of coffee
and Nicorette gum rush
to startle the senses
still slumbering
in the shadows of dawn.

The slow retreat of dreams
replayed on hillsides,
circumstances stashed
among others
in the rocks and crevices,

deep within hidden canyons
worn by centuries of rain,
for safekeeping—
unforgiving places
you may not want to ride,

reserved spaces
collecting wild regrets
with reveries—
first drafts
of uncompleted poetry.





Night shrinks into shadows rising
to ridges trimmed in gold, the day
awakes with or without us.





We haven’t talked in months
in our dreams,
in how we look at things
living and dead—
I see what you see,

even what you thought
you saw
your mother saw
through her own,
and so on.

Everywoman’s chance
to change the world—
the look of things
that lingers
after life has gone

into the hills
dressed in gossamer
night clothes
to rest, to wait
to be seen.





Our native feed germinated early at the end of October, and by Thanksgiving the rains came, six days at a time spaced with six days of gray. A fairly warm winter with few days below freezing, the grass grew, and by March, there was little room for wildflower bloom to compete for sunlight.

Exceptions are the yellow cascades of Bush Monkeyflowers and the purple Winecups or Farewell to Spring, both now showing spectacularly around Lake Kaweah. While looking for strays yesterday, this Twining Brodiaea caught my eye.


Rising from the earth,
heavy head climbing for light,
no two knots the same.





An eagle retreats
a crow escaping
four and twenty blackbirds:

squadrons of fighter pilots
patrolling nests—like flycatchers
on the peck riding the shoulders

of hawks—a brutal business
in the air over eggs
and babies in pintails

needing to be fed
or be food for others—
trees full of gaping beaks,

all the helpless beginnings
awaiting their place by design
amid hostilities of spring





No evening news to discuss,
nothing to eclipse the day’s
smooth accomplishments:

the horse and cattle dance
across the road, the sort
and ricochet to load

fractious bull calves
for town—the seed is ripe
we are harvesting.

Market always up or down,
I remember my epiphany
at forty, dickering over price—

not trying to get rich,
but bank enough to stay
another round of seasons

looking for sign,
listening to voices
recorded on ridge tops,

all looking down canyon
through time      upon
this clod of ground.


@ 100



My aunt, Frances Stillwell, celebrated her 100th birthday last Saturday.





Lost in a thatch of brittle stems,
foxtails and grasses ripe
with seed, we are not extinct

despite extremes: grazing hoofs
and rising floods of rain—
the four-year drought

before they finally came
and all the honest mistakes
the ignorant have made.

We are tough and may outlast
your conceit, your
Endangered Species List.