Tag Archives: dark

BLACK RAIN

 

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No moon, no stars,
she sneaks up canyon
in the dark an hour late

gently whispering
from the black
as if she never left.

A sprinkle kisses the roof
I cannot see, but hear
find its way to earth.

After midnight, my mother
would turn the porch light off,
so no one knew I wasn’t home

when we had neighbors, trails
between cabins in the mountains
I knew by braille

and by the sound
of my young feet, light
upon the night trails.

In the end, no one cares
exactly when it rained—
only that it came.

 

FOR RAIN

 

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Look to the sky:
bare oaks branched
upon uneven ridgelines
filigreed against
the promise beyond.

In the shadows
faces forgotten
re-inspect the man
I cannot change
from this distance.

Black and white,
dark and light
contrast youth
with age. The trail
is never straight

up the mountain—
granite rip-rap
and switchbacks
beside cold creeks
swept into rivers.

I believe the gods
ignore the pleas
of certain men,
prayers of the sure
and careless.

Look to the sky
for the wet gray rain
to wash this moment
before we start over
and over again.

 

 

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Autumnal Equinox 2015

 

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I don’t recall a more-welcome fall, this astronomical landmark when our daylight hours equal dark and night promises to last longer as we move towards the Winter Solstice. The sun slides south down the ridge, rising later, as sunset doesn’t hesitate, but literally falls into Antelope Valley just to the west of us.

We have endured the summer, we have endured four years of drought, as we enter that time of year when it might rain, bring green grass and fill the earth with moisture, bring water to our cattle. Wildlife walks with a different air, lingering longer in the morning. Coyotes and bobcats take their time as if they own this ground. Perhaps displaced by the Rough Fire, we’ve already seen more lions and bears than any year I can remember.

This is the time of year when our calves are born, the beginning of another cycle with the hope of rain, green grass, and fat calves, mornings and evenings by the fire. Just another day, but this is the one we have waited for.

 

AFTER DARK

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A boy’s bed upon the ground,
I stared at stars and wondered
if I was worth keeping alive

as I slept, if I could trust
the darkness to hold me
safe until morning—

looking up through
all the bright holes
of a rusty bucket sky,

connecting dreams
with a greater light
beyond the night—

I drew lines in the sky,
played dot-to-dot
instead of counting sheep.

 

PILLOWED CLOUDS

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I used to think that inside the deep heart
of the world gone wild, that we all wanted,
craved, needed, or would acquiesce to,

                         a yet to be identified
                         common soul:
                         a ‘peace and love’ tranquility
                         where we all got along
                         with our dreams—

a musical, moaning chorus of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’
that kept us busy feeling fine as frog hair,
trying harder to make life better for everyone.

But how could heaven’s everlasting light
be so great without a dark side, without the moon
rising in new places dressed in different phases
behind the skeletons of oak and tops of pine?

                         Rain and storm for free.
                         Life from dust, the miracle
                         of green reaching up
                         to seed itself
                         against adversity

should be enough to brave the skullduggery
of all the power-hungry opportunists that slink
and lurk in the shadows. And what of poetry
rooted in the illusion of pillowed clouds?