Of a Moment, Outdoors

The startled bark

And raised neck hair

Of my dog upon

Meeting a mushroom

Un-before seen

In the middle of

His accustomed path.

 

A broad-tailed hawk

Spiraling sunward,

Riding a thermal updraft—

Days later a raven

Rising in the same.

 

A tiny intrepid spider

Parasailing across my yard

On a thin silken thread.

 

Multiple popcorn

Gray and yellow bursts

Of whirling burrowing bees

Emerging from underground.

 

The summer yellow petal fall

Of a golden raintree,

Falling and fallen silent,

Like the onset of snow.

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Tierra Nueva

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Tierra Nueva

In this random pick-up-sticks, double helix

Melting pot amalgam and gene pool diaspora

Of multiracial physiognomy, skin color,

And multilingual saga, rhythm, and song

Of European, African, Asian, Semitic,

And Native Peoples world and voice

That is La Tierra Nueva, Las Americas,

What is it, here today, to be a person,

To be, certifiably, a human being,

And can we, that being, intervene

Upon our predisposed tribal fears,

Prejudice, and self judgement of value

And humanity based on heritage,

Wealth, gender, and skin tone?

Can or can’t we?  Are we, the People,

This mixed breed, capable or culpable?

The Apple Blossom Pool

On the placid, limpid

apple blossom pool

water striders in hunt

skate and skip

among white petals

fallen, floating gently adrift.

A gust of wind,

quickening, fills the air

and dimpled pool again

with speckling sails of light.

Startled waterside

a band, a bursting multiplicity

of small blue butterflies

scatter, swirling,

“winking and blinking”,

in periwinkle petaled flight.

The Sudden Robin

The Sudden Robin

 

The sudden robin

And following, falling,

Meadowlark lilt sound,

Resound, echoing and cascading

With and in my meandering heart,

With the selfsame pastel startlement

Of lupine and yarrow and wild rock rose

Bursting unbidden, source unseen,

Through the evening light watercolor

Wash of grays and blues settling

Suffused in soft concert cast across

The many mottled greens

Of this wondered

And wandering world.

 

Taking Time

taking time

 

taking time to see,

to clearly see, the tan

curling, swirling

stance and dance

of sunlit, windblown

winter grass

 

taking time to hear,

to note the chorus,

the lilt and line

of winds passing overhead

through a long-needled,

red-barked, ponderosa pine

 

taking time to read,

to carefully read the tangled

fractal calligraphy

of countless, leafless,

living branch and tree

 

taking time to let seep

deep within

the sweet fragrance,

the shadow and light,

this lasting breath

of earth and life

 

and taking time to never

let pass by unseen

the silvered gleam

of lingering ice

in a trickling, dancing,

softly singing stream

 

Waiting for Cranes

 

Waiting for Cranes

For Tom Mangelsen

 

Waiting for cranes

In a cramped camera blind

We recorded the Platte River sounds,

Rippling water and the long evening songs

Of seeming countless unseen birds, focused

And scattered voices overlapping, counter-pointed, turning

Undirected vocal baroque tapestry, orchestral calliope,

Cacophonous, melodious, anonymous, stippled

Painting, water-falling poetry, holy offering,

The longing lilt of Spring, freely cast into

The ending day, into the coming night,

At once random and one,

Distant and near,

Song and ear

As one,

Enclosed

And clear.

 

That evening the cranes never came

Yet we tumbled forth, forever filled.

 

 

Small Town Night

Small Town Night

From that long ago distance

Of my small town sheltered youth

I remember still so clearly seeing,

On one deep blue starlit night,

Framed and cross-veined by then

Stark and leafless trees, lines

Like thin rivers reaching

Star bound Orion caught,

Cast and held, beheld poised

Mid stride and moving timeless

Above my sleeping, tree-lined street

And how alive then seemed

All the skies on that clear

And youthful dreaming

Distant small town night.