Wild and Tall

The grasses that grow wild and tall
do not blame the winds
who press upon their backs.

Nor do the pastures cry out
to fruitless skies that buried
sweet rains beyond the horizon.

Green turns yellow.
No ill words are spoken
in the troughs full of fodder.

And silent are the fields swallowed in fire.


Desert Rocks

The streets swell in summer—
filled with sweat and dirt and
stained yellow of spilt garbage.

You can’t hear the children playing
for the droning traffic
and the frequent rumble of passenger jets

that drown out their voices.
You know what its like
to be swallowed.

The heat reminds you of many
terrible memories, but we won’t
speak about those today.

Leaves stir
in the thick hot breeze
when the earth gasps for breath.

It’s no wonder
the desert floors are barren
and all the rocks are painted red.

Someone’s got a greasy black gun
and they’ve tucked it in their
sweat-soaked waistband—

I don’t have to tell you how the story ends,
only that the streets will look a lot like desert rocks
when it’s all over.

In the summertime its hard to tell
the difference between sweat and



when I was a boy, I stood on my head
and imagined the sky was a great blue sea—
one in which I could never drown.

But that sky swallowed me whole, long ago.
Now, so many years later, I stare
into the ivory light of my bedroom window

and ponder the stranger I’ve become.
Searching for wherever
that boy might be.

I return to a fork in an old, familiar road long since
visited, which at one time was a great mystery
to me. A trace of what was once me still lingers there.

And when the long limbs of the tall trees
stir the slowly moving light of day—suddenly
the past comes rushing at me like a whirlwind.

And I wonder how it is that I’ve kept
so many fields and rivers and valleys and
lakes and bluffs and waterfalls and mountains

and caves and quarries and deep woods and
bridges and railroad tracks and abandoned roads
and stairwells and secret alleys and rooftops

jarred up in a
looking glass.

And I wonder what at all I learned
about life while lounging
in the high branches of magnolia trees,

or in the backseat of some old, smoky jalopy,
or rummaging through the wiry steel hills
of the city scrap yard, or running with the

bushy-tailed fawns into cold, naked woods,
or banging on the piano
at that party.


Somewhere nearby

—by some happenstance
or, dare I say, the hands of God,
limbs and leaves sway before cornflower
clouds and a maize-shaded moon.

And, for just a moment,
they all perfectly align.
The scene opens
as crickets drone persistently

into the quiet night.
Between every long, lengthy drawl,
even the cricket must pause
to take rest.

Somewhere nearby in the black woods
the barred owl glides—the same one that
came swooping down before me
earlier as I ran

along the edge of the lake—
her majestic wings spread,
subtle as a sail in soft winds and
silent as a shadow.

And that pudgy toad, who I met some months ago,
is still hopping in the weeds
far up the road.

Somewhere nearby,
towering above the great standing stones
of the metropolises,
above the lighthouses

that crowd distant shores,
above jagged, jutting peaks
and silver soaring jets,
beyond the barred owl and the toad,

behind drifting clouds
and limbs and leaves,
set upon the dark, dappled sky,
the old moon stands robed in light.


Second In Line

I must warn you, oh wanderer—you should not have seen
this place. You—who gaze out to me from my sister’s estate.

I am not like her, with her silvery seven seas and unfailing
fields. I am not adorned in robes of barley, nor polished

as a copper chalice, nor lithe as orchard grass, nor fragrant
as lilac and lavender caught in the ambrosial breeze.

It is my sister—not I—who bares such milk and honey.
She sings with meadowlarks, as I sound the clarion.

She has always been the favored sister, with satellites that
swarm around her. And her moon—how fond she is of him.

I am not like her. I turn left when she turns right—yet the
others follow her, not me. I am the retrograde.

I have no moons—no satellites. Here the air is thick and
sound is sleepy deep. No feet tread upon my desert floors—

these barren lands sprawl out to every bleak horizon. My face
is harsh—charred,    chapped, and     chiseled. And so my sister

mocks me; she heralds me a goddess, a morning and evening
star—but she knows I am a waste land,            vast          and


My halcyon days are lost in yore—before she stole my hues of
blue—before I befell the gusts of solar winds, and clouds grew

thick across the skies until my face was shrouded and my sight
went black. That was when she seized my seas and skies.

I am a forgotten relic—a glimmer in a star-filled sky, a torrid
shell roasting in the sun.

Here are neither trees nor rivers. There are no fawning orbs,
no obsequious moons—only perfectly             lonely rocks,

tormented by the infernal day
and the long, black veil of night.


Giving Away

As you left, I listened to each footstep
that echoed off the walls, that muttered of your departing.
I listened as the stairs creaked and groaned
as they called you to stay,

and to the door that shuddered at your sudden absence.
I stood for a moment and listened
to the tap, tap,
tapping rain.

Then—feeling a sudden urge—
I ran to the upstairs window
in hopes of catching one more glimpse of you,
as if to see you off with some silent

and solemn salutation. But you had vanished.
I only saw the
persistent drops
building puddles on the smooth rocks.

The air wrapped me in melancholy
as I stared off into the mute, wet sky—as every
dreary, drowsy drop
stirred the sprouting buds of the birch tree

beyond the columns of the balcony.
Some spirits whispered something
of you to the old tree that the young leaves were
giving away.


Soft Winds

Nature speaks without a tongue,
and sings with her every motion.
She moves with elegance unfelt,
save for the soft winds, to whose
song the tall trees dance.



Morning On the Way Home

I was on my way home.

I had wrestled with the cold
winds of dark, and disappeared into
the nothingness of those shadows
which devour lands and seas while
eyes and mouths are shut like doors.

And, emerging from that great void of
night—as veils of slumber were lifted
in the bright ascent of red dawn—
I took to a wayward path by call of the
beacon that shined forth in the East.

East, whence the champion of light
silently rode to conquer sweet Soir.
And Earth, great as she be, called the
shroud of shade to her other face.

I stood upon her back as she turned—
as her great weight tumbled forward.
Slowly, the golden disk reached higher
into the powder-blue dome above.

I watched as the horizon bowed.



I began with a spark—a jolt—a
leap. Stars were born in that
instance. Some have called it
dawn and alpha, origin
and source.
It was then I was born—long
before I rushed to Earth.
There, far off at the edges of fleeing
space, or time—whatever it is named,
whence I came.
I am of the word.

I had come and gone, again,
from her womb
where my soul was there bore.
I passed through a series of sycamore
doors, wreathed with
chrysanthemum and lilies—
then suddenly awoke,
jumped from my sepulcher, and
into the deep black
to gaze upon her silent face.

There, I began to move
closer to her—cautiously—
as not to startle her.
She did not have eyes, nor ears,
nor mouth, nor nose—
and yet she breathed, undulating
in endless night.
And she was full—
full as a cornucopia at harvest,
filled with skies and mountains
and oceans and fires spilling out
from her.

I saw a lizard scurry
across the craggy, crinkled
bronze crust
that was wilted in thirst.
I saw the unchanging moon
leap from waxing and waning
over the elderly pines of the
deep greenwood.
I watched, and I listened,
and, growing more curious—
she lured me toward her.
I tumbled into her womb
once more.

As she breathed out death
to breathe in life
I began again,
as the seasons,
as a spinning top, as a carousel,
as the tides rose and fell
they always did.
Creatures stirred in the shadows.
Everything was new.
Everything was old.



Let me yield to you,
As falling leaves yield to the sweet autumn winds,
when wordless whispers tell of hills undressing.
As the silent dawn yields, broken by the
song of a lonesome mourning dove.
Let my yield to you,
As the setting sun yields when Earth turns her back,
and so sends the moon to reflect his light.
As the thick blankets of fog yield to
the crisp bright of ivory morn.
Let me yield to you,
As water yields when it tumbles from the
towering mountain rocks, to gather
beneath the bluffs in its pools.
As the rills yield to the river.
Let me yield to you,
As lovers, in their passion, yield their flesh
before the seraphs that stand watch.
As the will of love yields the soul
to the bosom of its object.
Let me yield to you,
As the mind yields helplessly to weighty slumbers,
the vessel of the body anchored in the night.
As colors yield to the grayscale, and
rest in the shade of the globe.
Let me yield to you,
As gentle plains yield to high mountains, where
the stretched earth reaches for the heavens.
As boulders yield to moss and vines that
grow upon their old, cracked faces.
Let me yield to you,
As blossoms yield in summer afternoons, under
a blank blue scene where winged things fly.
As the long arms of the white sycamore
yield to the gentle breaths of God.
Let me yield to you,
As all must yield to age, when the body
grows frail and souls grow wise. And as far
to the western horizon, before the black,
this heart will yield to yours
in the fading light