Tag Archives: earth

DOLLARS AND SENSE

1.
We feed on numbers,
irrigate and harvest plans
with shaved efficiencies,
 
measure our well-being
by more or less
with what’s on paper
 
so easily burned
or suddenly erased—
we forget who we are.
 
 
2.
We share amounts of rain,
compare numbers
with the neighbors,
 
too often disappointed
with what we need most:
just enough moisture
 
to revive this ground—
this flesh and our more
common senses.


 

GENTLE MIRACLES

This old ground is on the move
and we have changed it
with our dreams of improvement
that humanity demands
 
to level mountains, harness rivers, 
pump valleys to collapse
with efficiency and startling success—
then we foul our surgeries. 
 
Beyond the road and fences,
these bare hillsides have begun to breathe 
since she spent the night, whispering 
upon dry leaves clinging to the last of life.
 
I am awakened, as if she never left,
wrapped in the soft applause of her arrival
bringing the gentle miracle of moisture
as this old ground comes back to life.

 

STIMULUS CHECK

Some come quickly now,
a phrase to trigger more
coiled upon the ground
 
while others hibernate for days,
for weeks and months,
as if they might be dead
 
without the touch of rain—
that hard and brittle
mindset to survive
 
like deep-rooted filaree
with all its colors,
with all its seed
 
waiting for a kiss.
I know no other way
to pen prosody.
 

MY FATHER FARMING

 

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We had water enough for play in furrows
with scraps of wood, leaves for sails,
regattas on rivers pumped from underground.

All the magic that children take for granted
swirled to the hum of electricity, twenty-horse
pumps like Buddhas squat in orchard rows

my father farmed for wagonloads of fruit
ripe for the rail, packed by women’s hands
for the road on diesel trucks to distant places.

His silhouette crosses deep within vineyard rows,
early morning, late afternoon, hoe in hand—
his pirate’s cutlass, swashbuckling open-topped

overshoes—checking water, irrigating grapes
at seventy, or so I think at sixty-eight, knowing
now what drew him to the earth he farmed.

 

LAYERS OF DIRT

 

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This ground recovers our presence
with leaves and weeds, most all
of our mistakes erode with flowers,
explode with colors leaving seed

as accomplishment sags like ridgelines
of old barns and brittle wire between
broken posts as we sink satisfied
into the soil rich with the work

of hands. Calloused hands, hands
a horseback that track our thoughts
when we were green and learning
to see and think the hard way.

As we breathe, all the chiseled chins
of the rough and gruff retreat
to live as monuments in rock piles
with the honesty of rattlesnakes—

an immortality stirred into the earth
that can’t be purchased, but is always
upon always like the layers of dirt
our future depends, rooted within.