Monthly Archives: August 2017

ENFLAMED

 

 

Fires in the night flicker on different faces,
candlelit or shadows borne from torches,
glowing herds driven by separate forces:

Black & white
Love & hate
Wood & steel

of celestial guitars—how loathing
corrupts the innocent and trusting,
all the possibilities of anything more.

 

TROUT FISHING

 

Robbin, July 2011

 

The answer in art appeals,
resides within, not without.
It adds, it multiplies

boundlessly: fresh, unnamed
senses like ripples from a pebble
spreading across pools

we harbor in our hearts
apart from politics,
from the legions of agendas

to satisfy the appetites
of power and greed
where might is right.

Art is not correct
and never stays the same,
illusive as the canyon wren’s

cascading song—I hear it now
again for the first time:
bear clover forever stirred

in memory miles away
in time and distance
trout fishing as a boy.

 

IDES OF AUGUST 2017

 

 

In the churning air we breathe
the latest news cascades from mountaintops,
waterfalls of misty details stream instantly

around us, tugging eddies we ignore
like bad dreams—waking to
and shaking off nightmares of fear

we carry on, we persevere.
How I envy cattle and coyotes
their ignorance, poor dumb beasts

with habits honed day by day,
moon to moon. Greeted by heifers,
nearly yearlings coming into season,

I can feel their flesh crawl with heat
beneath tight black hides that shine—
each day yet a new confusion.

It will suffice to linger among them
reading poetry under my breath
until they bore with my poor intellect.

 

FULL MOON RISING

 

 

I know all the old horses
and the men who rode them
to their ridgeline bleachers.

Full moon August rises atop
her perfect breast perfectly
after all these years, centuries,

eons—I am relieved from
the world inside this galaxy,
this tug of war for power,

gravity without compassion.
I lean toward the heavens
and the far ridgetops,

send roots deep
to good water and wait
until my moment is up.

 

FOR THE BIRDS

 

 

                           They own the air we breathe.
                                Jim Harrison (“Old Bird Boy”)

Spring delivered a clan of blackbirds
to the Coastal Redwood thick with dead
limbs too far from home. Quick fighter pilots

patrolled the air and drove away the crows
like coyotes baiting cows from newborn,
from their egg nests—hurried off the hawks,

dived-bombed the dog when fledglings fell
before they left, gave up the lawn to families
of quail, little tikes on wheels from winter’s

prunings piled to dry before burning,
bringing summer coveys from the garden’s
damp cover to explore the rest of their world.

Hummingbirds hover the hibiscus. Black-headed
Phoebe’s wait from the backs of chairs
for flying insects that cloud our breathing.

Our space grows still in the summer baking
as a Cooper’s Hawk claims the air,
walks the rail to bathe beneath a sprinkler.

 

LIVING ART

 

 

We wear the struggles here
like scars, deep furrows cut
by joy and pain upon our flesh
rising bravely before dawn.

What tracks we leave will fade
eventually, the dust and rust
of dreams that tried to dance
with gravity and grace.

                    Birdsong,
                    crow’s cry,
                    the titter of quail
                    awakening,

                    the coyote’s howl,
                    screech of an owl—
                    simple tunes
                    to put words to.

It is an art, writing songs
beneath our breaths,
all the old mantras
matching the heartbeat

of living things, the wild refrains
that beg release instinctively,
caring not for praise—only
space to turn them loose.