DARK RAIN

 

 

No fad or fashion worthy
worship more than
a good long drink

from an all night slow rain—
dark murmur on the metal roof
like a thousand distant snare drums

blurred by a billion years
keeps us alive and the earth
hydrated, air clear to breathe

with dreams of green
leaves gently waving
from a mountainside.

 

HEADING HOME

 

 

No worn path home,
we make circles
following the seasons
in the shadow of the moon—

to the coyote’s yip
and canyon conflagration
finding perfect pitch
to make a chorus.

Our dreams are wild
enough to need
no fuel, no accolades
to draw a crowd

any closer. We pick
our way, break no stems
on the eternal scent
of heading home.

 

A WALK IN THE CLOUDS

 

 

Separated from the bunch,
good to see a cow in clouds
wanting to make rain—

and she glad to see us,
relieved with proof of life
right before her eyes.

We are not so different
when sentenced to isolation
without our cell phones.

 

AFTER RAIN

 

 

Azure ridge after ridge unfold
into a swirl of storm clouds leaving,
as if heaven sent, wrapping hidden

peaks of scree with snow, thirty miles away
from this conflagration of cottonwoods,
willows and sycamores below. I look

up the throat of the Kaweah for a sign—
hoping, praying, as we begin again,
for grass-fat calves through spring.

 

ANOTHER CHANCE

 

 

Three hundred rings along the creek,
five months dry—another chance
to live, another chance to die

marked with autumn’s fleeting
splendor. Soon naked and lithe,
these old sycamores will cavort

the winter long, memorize and
improvise each lunge and pirouette
until the dance is crystalized

within my mind. Blessed be
the seasons as examples of
yet another chance to get it right.

 

AUTUMN SONG

 

 

After the first cold night,
my eyes leap to drink
the dying colors in—

the last clasp of stubborn
summer’s steamy green
giving up its leaves.

Soothed by the taste
of truth within these
softer shades of fire,

I am relieved
to make my nest
among the wild

and uncivilized—
a calling where instead
I pray for me.

 

ROCK AND BONE

 

 

A stirring in the canyon,
golden filaments of grass
parting for a pagan tribe

just before rain, skulking
corners in my brain
the light has seldom seen—

that wild connection
of throwback senses
that once meant something.

Yet I claim totems
and hang fetishes of rock
and bone while waiting.

 

BUCK SEASON SURVIVOR

 

 

We celebrate survivors,
pay homage to
who we hope to be—

that with a little luck
leave quietly—not stray
too close to the road.

 

BEYOND THE WIRE

 

 

We have places yet
before the plow,
the yellow steel,

for naked grace—
the wild dance
that steps lightly

upon this ground.
Our clumsy dreams
are child’s play,

drunken dumb shows
of cell phone selfies
squinched in squares.

Blessed be the buck
in rut with purpose
beyond the wire.

 

IN CHARGE

 

 

Any man can be a star
when the ground is hard
and short of feed—

and when the crowd
clambers for relief,
any man can be a god

in certain quarters
if he can load a truck
with good alfalfa hay.

Yet the compassionate man
loathes the burden,
despises his inadequacy

to make Nature rain.
Any man can be a star,
but she’s in charge.