Tag Archives: ascension

AMONG THE GODS

 

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The old ways fade
and disappear into the dust—
we leave few tracks

in the mountains,
in the canyons—
our hands are rough.

Red rivers run
through our hearts,
love and logic pulse

our slow ascension:
young horseback souls
grown old and weary,

we inhale the pitch
of pine, the cedar
smoke, silhouettes

facing one another
around the fire.
Red cinders rise

to join the stars
of forgotten time
among the gods.

                                    for Amy

TAILWATER

 

The place has changed
where water pooled,
ringed by cattails

at the end
of irrigated pastures
long gone brown

for rock and gravel
royalties that boomed
before the bust.

How many times
have those Mallards
risen in my mind?

My father’s words
on a Sabbath saved
from Sunday School,

an ascension
beyond religion
dripping from clouds.

 

STATE OF GRAVITY

 

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We are not spirits only
when gravity works
flesh into dirt, pulls

bones into the womb
of all things as roots cling
and search for water.

Like drought-dead oaks
with loosened bark, clumps
of mistletoe hanging black

on the other side of Christmas,
Apollo’s hot breath
on our burnt lips kissed

with summer’s revenge.
It is not the dark rain
that dissipates strength,

weakens wooden handles:
the hands-on tools
for arms and legs

as hoe and shovel twist
and bow, decompose
beneath unrelenting heat.

We are not spirits yet
to defy mortal forces:
the bodies politique

that wear us down to find
our own ascension within
delirium under the sun.

We will walk with gods
soon enough and envy
this state of gravity.

 

FOR SNYDER AND BERRY

Out of wonder by wild design,
like greenheads rising, our ascension
from cattail ooze on a Sabbath

when I was a boy surprised
with my father—and all times since
shaking off the last glistening drops

to fly—no church or sermon necessary
to feel whole, to shed the nonessentials,
to become awestruck, he implied.

Even the shadow beneath the ridge
of a rattlesnake track teaches
by design, direction and urgency

left to fade within the long history
of earth. We cannot help building
fences in our minds to keep the wild

away and apart from our selfishness.
But only out of wonder may we remove
the barbed wire from our hearts.