On Valentine’s Day 2008

    Roses are rose and violets are violet
    A phone always knows from the way that you dial it
    The patterns of pleasure and patterns of chore
    And the singular sequence of ten digits worn through
    From dialing
    To say I love you

    Cause whether you’re close or whether you’re farther
    A half must disclose that it misses its partner
    And if the pulsing of signal is thin
    The thumb faded numbers remind it of when it was new
    And every touch
    Was I love you


    Staring At A Tree

    I stood staring a tree
    until it fell
    cut
    in front of me
    And the world seemed wide and too far away.


    Wildflower Gift

    He walked to her house with a chain
    of wildflowers
    woven together.
    It took him six hours at least
    of trying
    and grieving
    to make it.
    He held it so lightly
    like breathing
    would break it.


    The Sky Is Just The Sky

    Today’s your day and the sky is just the sky
    Though there’s all kinds of ways you can look at it
    And all kinds of roofs where you can sit and watch it fall
    and drink wine
    And all kinds of hands you can hold
    And all kinds of streets you can walk
    And all kinds of pillows
    Where you can lay your head when the world gets you in
    that way you can’t talk about
    And you think and you think and you think
    Then you stop thinking
    So you can realize
    the sky
    And that there’s another head on your pillow
    And another shadow on your sidewalk
    And a hand reaching
    And somebody pouring the wine
    And there you learn to see each other
    through three eyes of spirit
    Three stages of wise
    The sky is just the sky
    The sky is more than just the sky
    The sky is just the sky


    Jeremiah’s Lament

    I looked at the earth
    it was formless and empty
    at the night sky
    and her eyes were gone
    I looked at the mountains
    trembling mad
    and all the hills were dissipating
    I looked and there were no people
    every bird from the earth had flown away
    I looked, and the marvelous land was a desert
    the debris of achievement scattered
    before eyes of fierce anger


    These Cold Waters

    Ebullient blue-like green sometimes
    where it falsifies atmosphere for floating
    and when you fall into it
    deeper than you thought you’d go
    but just barely hit the bottom
    with your left foot
    where it’s gritty sand
    lucky it wasn’t a silty spot
    cause that feels just like dog crap
    between your summer toes

    these cold waters are your heritage
    more so really cause your folks split up
    but these cold waters just break and bend around you
    coming back they surround like holding
    like memory
    like threads of belonging to some country side
    a beating drum
    off in the distant hills that you
    swore fourteen years ago meant nothing
    and it still means nothing
    you just never forgot it

    these cold waters sift and silt
    and float the haze of disturbed mud bottoms
    someplace down river
    and make the hole here clear again

    these cold waters rinsed Comanche blood
    from Lipan Apache hands
    boiled they brought life into the world
    sipped on by some fella who
    just wanted a house for his new wife to live in
    his baby to be born
    but the land sucked ‘em both underneath
    a headstone and left cold tears and meanness
    beside a dry creek bed

    I don’t suppose to know where the rain came from this evening
    it was sunny when it started
    rained like hell and
    the sky is yellow now

    these cold waters, the oil-slick cedar smelled mist
    of late summer rain
    un-forgotten beating drums
    and the truck moaning on the highway
    then silence


    The First Blood Moon

    It hailed on the morning of the first blood moon
    and I read about some lunatic preacher
    not too far away
    who had a book out
    about how it was the start
    of the end of the world
    just below that
    on the internet feed
    was the story of a woman
    who was stashing her own babies
    she had killed
    into cardboard boxes in the family garage
    there was seven of them babies
    they say there’s gonna be four blood moons and
    this is only the first


    Six Foot Three In A Thunderstorm

    Six foot three in a thunderstorm
    ain’t the greatest of ways
    to spend a Monday afternoon
    taking a break from clearing cedar
    then the sky swimmably blue
    I took the dogs up the dry creek bed
    to the windmill that works
    and keeps a tank filled
    with green groundwater


    Two Red Birds

    Two red birds landed in the live oak tree
    as the groom began his wedding vow
    not being from this part of the world
    I’m wondering
    what kind they might be
    so bright
    not just your average red
    too big to be vermillion
    perhaps a kind that we don’t have back home I’m thinking
    until one drops
    the other one then
    I see it’s just the cardinal
    common as the Bible verse on love they’re reading now


    Bright Peonies

    Bright peonies winsome fall
    somewhere against the august
    skies they bend like whippoorwills
    cringing in the broken dark