The fires came from the sky.
Silver sucker PUNCHES to defenseless mountains;
they just took it.
In the morning ten thousand hungry fires
were seen m a r c h i n g toward each other
throwing forests into the air
where they flew like ANGELS
to a world of dreams
blocking the sun, watching us all
the vapor of one million trees
From tongues of CLOUDS.
Now the siege is ending.
The human mind contrived to-stop-the-flames
and I can not say what is right
what is the proper voice of Earth and Fire.
I can not see the Future
but I can see the M OU N T A I N S.
their hearts beat just below the skin
When you are swimming and
You crawl out of the water
On to the wrong beach
but the mountains are not your mountains
The sand is different
even the air smells wrong,
Poetry will save you.
When you wish it were different
you didn’t mean it to roll out and break.
Everyone can see the bruises.
Locate a cave in a rock, go there.
Once in the dark you sit
covered with ancient dust.
On the wall in some glowing chemical;
Poetry stares back at you.
When all voices are voices of your captors
there is no river or stream, not even milk
and you have been left to look for crumbs…
Poetry, once again your hero.
When you are cut and bleeding
battered and numb
with a plane ticket you can’t use
and a broken axle in the twisted heat;
watch the tow truck.
It may be followed by a dozen Western Tanagers
singing about the irrelevance of tropical birds;
“We are the real color” they say.
Poetry is their best language.
It is always Poetry
Dangling from the lip, stuck in the heart
Pouting and forgiving.
On the reservation
You reach into the glove box and pull out a small bottle.
Give your Navajo guide what money you have
You ingest Poetry
Hoping the visions will summon the muse.
You drive away though the wind is full of grit
It works upon your scalp
and down through the layers of skin
evolved to cover your mortal pieces.
Poetry saved you
there…… and there…… and there.
Your pins and glue, tears that track
And run through canyons becoming your rivers.
So here on some sand altar
You sacrifice yourself to Poetry.
You came back, you … the prodigal.
You cry real tears with your head in the lap
swear your fidelity like before
then you are swallowed and you are home
this time for good.
Protected in Drawers
Ten thousands days I have walked
So here, these faded photos
now your grey whiskers
but on edge of a sweet, cold river
bank moss and layers in the shale
In seeing these I say,
“I do not remember that
but see how young,
how long ago”
How far this righteous cliff edge
We have walked
Taking turns holding the map
“I believe it is just over the next rise.”