Tag Archives: spring

BATTLE LINES

 

Always a hole in the law,

in the black sky where the March moon

bores into your mind,

 

along the borders

between you and Nature

tirelessly encroaching.

 

She lives in town, the nurse

taking my blood pressure,

wants to know about the moths

 

driving her inside the house

with her kids

on the block of last night’s shooting.

 

I can’t imagine trying to sleep in a city.

First 80-degree day,

surrounded by colorful pastures

 

of wildflowers, thigh-high,

we can feel the snakes

crawling out of hibernation—

 

even the dogs are cautious,

as they check last year’s beds

dug in the shade of the deck.

 

The ebb and flow of skirmishes,

prey and predator, man and beast

until the end of time.

 

 

MAYPOLE

 

The dark hole in the barn

that once was leafy, fine-stemmed alfalfa

for six-months feeding, rides on a rain

 

as wildflowers get ahead of the green

making color, making seed—a spectacle

that will eclipse the hopes and dreams

 

that drew us to this tipping point in time.

Seems we’re always on the cusp of perfect

storms, praying for enough that we might

 

meld into the wealth of these steep slopes

we belong to, marvel at the cattle

and forget about the money and the market

 

for a moment as we and our old neighbors

hold invisible hands and hobble around

the maypole to appease our pagan genes.

 

 

AT SUNSET AFTER CHRISTMAS RAINS

Last flash of limbs

in a pagan dance

as shadows crawl

across the creek

to pull night’s curtain up

into the stars.

 

The canyon has come to life

with promises of spring—

birds and trees are talking

above the bulls’ primal bellowing—

tension spills with energy.

 

Shrill yips and howls

in every draw ignites

another all-night

canine celebration

to exasperate the dogs.

 

Even the old flesh perks up

with fresh strategies,

just in case the market’s up

and we get more rain—

just enough to do it over again.

HOUSE FINCHES





He waits upon the beam

that holds the rafters up,

dry weed in his beak.

He chirps incessantly

as she constructs a nest

with what he brings her.

He seems to have forgotten

the ear-piercing love songs

from her red-breasted suitors

prancing on the railing

now that he has a partner

to get the real work done.

SOMEHOW, STILL LIVING





                        Swirl of savage sunsets,

                        Swirl of the dead

                        Somehow, still living.

                                    – Adrian Louis (“Degrees of Drought”)

Bribed with little water,

we have enticed Redbuds

to brighten our gardens

with cardinal colors

regardless of rainfall

before they leave

green hearts in spring.

Even the bare hills

sigh and grin relieved

for the living, love us

for our generous nature

that keeps the wild alive

and close to our swirling 

yearnings satisfied.

LAST CHANCE


Another round of Blue Oak

from the limb droughts have cured

to fall with a crash in the yard—

after the calves were marked

and friends were fed and gone,

you and I and a bottle of wine

before the fire we cooked upon

waiting for the pillowed clouds

to collect and turn dark gray—

our forecast rain.  Tough filaree

looks like the dirt it’s hanging on,

leaves red and brown and in between—

last chance for feed this spring.

One wonders why we do this

to become the grass we need.

FACING THE MUSIC

 

 

Blessed are we with the diversions
of spring in bloom: colored orchestrations
of multisyllabic assonance rhyming

with short-clipped awe: an ever-changing tune
that steals the senses midst tumultuous times.
Blessed are we to be alive with work to do.

Always the War to measure the world by:
patriotic hawks enlisting reluctant doves
as fodder that shocked us into an explosion

of lyrics and melodies—an awakening
for music, a renaissance for humanity
we pray may come this way again soon.

 

MEANWHILE BACK AT THE RANCH

 

 

The rafters rain with dry debris of nests
under construction, as finches dance
with crimson breasts upon the railing

crooning springtime love songs.
Hillsides splashed with islands
of Golden Poppies burn together

engulfing green, white skiffs claim
the flats with gilded fiddleneck as
the tender and translucent leaves

of oaks test unsettled weather
gusting within all living flesh
flushed with a mix of urgency and awe.

Killdeer claim the gravel drive, guard
speckled eggs that look like granite
as the crow pair cruise the layered

limbs of trees for homes, their own
secreted away in canyon Blue Oaks
as burnished eagles sweep the grasses

at feeding time—a great and brutal cry
fills the eyes as this troubled earth
awakens with unrelenting passion.

 

FEELING APRIL

 

 

From creek to ridge alive with spring,
churned and feathered urgencies abloom,
from pink to purple petals opening

to the sky, to its great white ships
passing after a sunlit shower’s rainbow.
Perfumes stirred inhaled, this canyon’s

air is shared with two golden eagles
hunting for hungry hatchlings high
in granite outcrops, sailing low

to snag sunning ground squirrels
more frequently now, imagining
young yellow beaks in sticks

open to the sky. It is the beginning
of the end, the ripening of the seed—
the dramatic performance of scripts

with fresh actors little changed
in my life, in my flesh—dependable
feelings somewhat akin to love.

 

APRIL’S DRUM

 

 

‘On the make,’ my mother’d say
of springtime sojourns, the lone tom
between gobbles of rafters a strut,

the fan and drag as damp earth warms
to steam the green to flower skiffs of color,
to dress the oaks in tender iridescence

while finches softly fall aflitter, giddy
with the fun of it stirred within the air
we breathe, inhale into our flesh.

Like quail paired, couples nested
near the creek in the old days, empty
cars parked along this quiet road

like Do Not Disturb signs, lovers drawn
by April’s pounding drum to taste the wild
just beyond the sagging barbed wire.