poetry & things

Poems

Our last road trip

Every day I awaken early

always I open the curtained window

to gaze upon the fire red sky

sink my thoughts into the tallest trees

distract my mind from these worries

I drift into the aromatic leaves of tea

try not to let flashes of you beset me

all your photographs I must quickly pass

I walk wooded paths for beauty to seek

and from my lips your name I shall not speak

and never think of our last road trip

the Colorado river, the ocean,

the weight of this sinking ship.

Sandhill cranes

Over by the wild fields, crossing wired fences

climbing into view, we saw the sandhill cranes

like airplanes, impossibly winged

they weaved in and out of sight

stalking tall amid the grassy screens

prehistorically made and in the green

of murky shallows to wade

warming in the sun, they come

returning every year

and we can feel the air move

in a giant swoop, a flapping wave

breathing heavy winged

we sighed, at their precarious lift off

the feathery snow of sky

alas, the distant birds

silver streaking by.

Strawberries

I am thinking of that time

in the ripe fields of June

the carefree of our bare feet

cool upon the spongy ground

warmth of the afternoon sun

all the berries red and round

the mad deliciousness of

falling to the ground.

Desert drive

A good sell and soon I knew all to well

the glinting lull, the trigger pull

of flash floods and hot spells

the changing moods of wind

the hot and cold I rue

driving this desert

with you

Disappearing birds

I have left the desert

to live in forests, under green trees

ruminate, drinking rose petal tea

my sipping cup, salal leaves

always I am watching the beauty

of birds, the wonder of skies

I dream into the disappearing

imagining beyond any ordinary heaven

with wings gathering gentlest winds

soft amid fog and cumulus clouds

coming, going, disappearing

how brief this precious flight.

Forest collection

Wild geraniums collected

in pocket, red painted petal stains

my feet squish, squash in this forest

the earthy mud a mossy sponge

with fern and lichen the trees are hung

upon the ground greening with maidenhair fern

my satchel filled with dainty floral sprigs

in spring the sparrows gathering vine and twig

June’s an efflorescent carpeting, soft with lady slippers

in summer the wildflowers and grasses wed

when celebrates all the flying things

wooded bees and butterflies in the sun

sparkling with faceted, glistening wings.

Lessons of the Ocean

Pink iridescent moon

shadows cast upon the sands

of endless moving seas, of broken shells

feathers and bones of seabirds we’ve loved so well

together we are tied by swaying seaweed ropes

our souls ever ebbing us toward home

to see the possibilities, endless in our lives

to let ourselves be wild, allowed to float

feel the arriving tide, the unwavering ocean

always willing, always letting go.

Long distance

When I am a thousand miles away

and you are seemingly a million more

here where I trade the sun for rain

dwell in the intermittent patches of grey

I distract myself in gardens green

study madala art of spider weaves

decaying, diaphanous maple leaves

the cool of wet mud wriggling around my toes

and yesterday the black birds watching me

disturbingly, the cawing crows

and I could hardly think or speak

as I dialed you long distance on the phone.

Looking at photographs

I have lost all sense of time, hours linger

days fade, I look at photographs

those of you and I, unframed

in gardens, or mountains

or pictures from the hotel

the warmth of you, my chilly toes

lonely – I remember your smile

the window, the trickle

of autumn rain.

Museum art

It was more like alabaster, but I could only be sure

of one thing; it was an exquisite lesson in anatomy

cold ancient, pale Roman stone, the arm half gone

strongly curved, the rippling of muscle, hair and bones

a man held by pillar, marble like legs of smoothest stone

his eyes deep set that wended near, then waywardly away

the kind that strangely follow sometimes linger into the next day

broad faced, cheekbones perfectly amid the shadows

and I don’t mind saying while on my museum trip

though he was a statue, I thought to kiss

those divinely sculpted lips.

Musician

Strange music playing

I never know from where it comes

always on a whim it wanders and goes

a flute, warm breathed upon my flesh

sometimes cool night jazz

a deep toned oboe, I breathe in wildly slow

drums synced in rhythmic beats

now a bass guitar strummed ever dark

a haunting violin that moans

ripping at the heart.

Saudade

Blue, sea green night

the moon’s gone missing

lorn shore, footprints and broken shells

my heart an empty ocean to fill

without you my love, further

than the planets and stars

how long this ache

of blood and cells?

Skylark

Today the rains came, without any warning

I watched droplets forming, pooling on the ground

the trees dissolving into palest fog

into the quiet of this forest, void of birds

traveling off to some secret world

perhaps to some cavernous mountain hollow

with glorious wings, I dream to follow

through the darkened woods, hidden by ferns

through harrowing clouds to be one with birds

with gorgeous feathers, downy warm

among the flickers, pheasant and crow

to be an evening silhouette in the alpenglow

a skylark winging in a painted sky.

The trailing stars

It is summer, and soon the Perseid showers

I have gone from my desert home

I wander far from crowded towns

my feet here in grassy, bee clover

on a summery hill, all daisy flowered

green, with wild blackberries

awaiting the August sun fire.

Here amid the slowing of mars retrograde

of my lover returning home too late

no long goodbye, only the weight

I watch oceans of seaweed sway

at night the phosphorescence

the lonesome, of sea stars trailing.

Tiger

Tiger, your eyes of amber

lull me hypnotically under

slowly sink, you slink in tallest grass

night, a steamy jungle where you sleep

scratch and paw, you claw my neck

I run, always you bite and bite

growl, and prowl hunting me down, to defeat

tireless in your clever games of hide and seek.

Coastal sunset

It was windy wild – sunset on the California coast

we watched the birds seemingly fly backwards

seagulls and brown diving pelicans

I sat wrapped in a woven blanket

dreaming I was a coastal Indian

from the north land, Haida or Tlingit

as the wind bit my cheeks quite red

barefoot, we sank in the cooling sands

watching the final flashing, glassy sun

firewater reflecting on the darkened lands

the sky swallowing the sailing light away

the half moon askew above the bay

Desert note, after the rain

Here in this redolent rain, droplets saturate the ground

I watch the clouds move on, and then once more the sun to come

this sparkling desert is strewn with tiny diamond stones

the air hangs in petrichor, thick with chaparral

birds drink from puddles formed in the broad agave leaves

rainwater trickles with steam in the sun of the singing trees

songs of doves coo cooing in the desert mesquite

spiny lizards stop for rest and warmth upon the rocks

they are ancient, tiny dinosaurs with rounded teeth

for eating flashing bugs and beetles

here beneath the spindly ocotillo

the pale flowered saguaro, that blooms

amid this wild ocean of sandy seas

of cool nights and hot breathed days

tricky, the way the desert breathes.

I will leave

Tonight, with its blue moving stars

and mars overhead, in its bright blinking red

the breezing leaves upon the rooftop eaves, calling

a falling star, impossibly high catches the eye, while dying

and I dream to fly, flit and roam amid night’s celestial home

but with tethered feet, can only gaze upon the sky, to drink

in the space within my mind, I try to be and not to think

but feel the distant seas, that crash in waves and never cease

the endless ages, ancient and modern ways of humanity

and tonight, I imagine you out there lying soft upon the grass

tracing the dying stars, reflecting on the things that have come to pass

knowing very soon I too, will leave in summer.

Last night

Last night, so enlightening

the full flower moon, illuminating

somehow brightening our words

the sun had gone, taking only the birds

leaving the sky of red mars, the alluring stars

you and I, naked traipsing through the woods

the blazing moon of firelight through the trees

a splendorous love potion, we drank the night, celestially

Roman man

I think you are of clay

of red earth and water

smooth formed and forged

a vessel for holding fire

a warm copper bronze

sculpted, divinely poured

of ancient Roman origin

descended from Apollo

born of pure poetry and music

you walk the earth, a skilled hunter

with bow and arrow

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