Experiments (1)

in love one might collapse and embrase the round
of the earth or leap into some wide blue water
and seek out the gods of drowning

when the red smoke comes one might call down
to the rocks below and smile at the birds
restless as their angry wings

above the rise one might observe the jealousy of the sun
racing against the moon’s temporat gray
in the grass where ant shadows approach like fallen rain clouds

remember the heated or hot words, words like ice
in a closed fist, in fits of memory, remember
or remember the placards at the border

at the border that said love is hate in green letters
or hate is love, the sky at war with the slow penetrative stars
one might walk from one top to another mountain featherless

You, red bear, come down from the mountain
to sit at the rim of a yellow hole in the grass.
The bees circle
and the children climb
out the windows with caution.

In the city people make their windows
tight against the coming of the day.
You write a language
that can be read only in the leaves
circling slowly on the river’s back.

Is that love under your nails,
love the color of a star nova
beneath the leaves
in the evening when the towns
open their doors to the shadows
loud with crickets, fearing the city.

Maybe the cave woman
had you in mind
when she wrote a list in the stone
with ink made from crushed fruit,
things she would make days to come,
outlines of objects she brought
in baskets, bags, and boxes
that harbored the light and smell
of a world whose border is made
when day turns to night, Mexico
maybe, Iran, some other country
where chickens run when the rain falls
or when the ground goes
luminous gray under eclipse.

In the open country where a million
suns flood the hills and fill
the meadow bees with aches
for honey and wine, fear
in you diminishes into distance,
the sunset bones of the tree
limbs and the drip of water
on cave glass where dark
reflects dark and presses
to the walls to hang and shake like bats.

The children cry when you, bear,
rise and follow the lower leaf line,
lumbering to the road.
They want to ride you. They want
to make themselves whole.

The print your hand makes in the grass
is the memory of the red bear
whose thoughts go to sun
and starburst, a yellow leaf
turning on a river toward the sea.

(Sonnet 2012)
dim orange sunlash on the thick treegnarl in late August
marking the times, maybe when war comes soft
overland or on ships wet and windbeaten and crying at the joints,
blanket soft on the chest of the hungry, the insane,

or those resting who dream of fists and winning
hungry for winter to come and cloud an enemy’s eyes,
while hard by the children blink, who will be
the second soldiers; is it warmer there where
the sun rubs against the skin of it, warmer
above and below the shadows of farther, imagined obstacles:
a limb miles away, a neighbor’s fence, a distant cross, maybe,
where the lucky light comes through, a soft orange mark in August:

will I ever see a world where continents crack
together, where words are made thicker than blood.

from the tree in my backyard it is possible
to watch air move over the skin of New Mexico
Arizona Texas and Mexico but from the tree
it is impossible to identify or judge
the identity, flavor, or crimes of any individual
grain of sand

from the tree in my back yard, from a thick low limb
I reach down and pass my fingers across the spines
of a dog’s reaching nose, a dog we know, and from whose
master I often receive a wave of greeting or of goodbye,
a dog who wags his tail and tries to climb the trunk
of the tree but can only tear off small strips of bark

from the tree in my back yard
he avoids the understanding that moves with the thought
that I’ve already lost attending, that I’ve moved to follow
a thought both pink and lacy at the edges, that I could climb
higher and push my fingers into the air above the tree,
reach still farther, reach, so that the bones in me
become the fingers of ancient trees

the tree in my backyard that crawls across the patio every day
like slow moving dreams of crows

where I once saw a doe, a bear, and something else red
swoop in and leave where, one moment later, I decide to make the climb.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *