Taxers, like hyenas, pass
by the richly nourished and chase
the weakers to exhaustion, drain
their bodies, leave bits and pieces
for the jackals, and the jackals lean
back from the sidewalk table,
sip pricey tea, exhaust the bits
and pieces, and the hyenas find
another chaser. Taxers, like leaches,
know they can forever find one more
weaker to drain. Jackals, like lobbyists,
know they can forever find
one more hyena to dance.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Taxers, like hyenas, pass
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
My girlfriend shut the door before the last
credit card promotion, I forget her name,
she arouses my erroneous zone. I left a red snow
coat at the library last night, walked home
in freezing weather and didn't notice anything
amiss, maybe it's time to write about
end–of-life issues, views from the boarding home,
uh miss have we met? Have you seen the red snow?
Lost souls rise up beyond the clouds, Marjorie
dies in the night, she goes to the Moon. This place
is on the map but it looks different from inside,
the trails are in different places, I try to act
like I've been here before. In human time
rocks don't stretch and yawn, they don't sit up
in bed and watch the sunrise, they don't die
in the night.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The old path to my cottage is paved
with chicken bones, owl pellets,
crushed legs in weasel droppings,
broken axles, broken promises,
blood stained wood chips, lost kisses.
I turn from the old path
and focus on the steep one
that goes on up valley
and into the clouds on Farewell Ridge,
the path paved with plum blossoms,
bird songs, a mythical beast
that speaks in a familiar accent.
My old feet don't want the steep,
but I still watch it from my kitchen window.
Monday, May 18, 2009
This road came into the valley ages ago,
it comes east out of Wendell, bends around
the nose of Saddle Point, and wanders along
the north side like it has no purpose.
This road is an old man, he reaches the ridge
at the east end of the valley and can't decide
which way to turn, so he turns both ways,
south to Sutter Beach and north to Smoke Creek.
This dirt strip is a history, a swarm of ruts
mark a patch left soft in spring, soft contours
lead in and out of the dust hole,
a scattering of dimples and lumps evokes horses,
pronghorn, jackrabbits, an old wheezing bull.
Uncle Billy cranks up his grader
and gives the old man a shave,
trims the stubble of history,
scrapes off the ruts and washboard,
gets ready for next year's swarm of dirt bikes
and pickups, a scattering of tracks. Weather's turning cold,
this old road's going to rest under a snow blanket
until spring migrations come into the cottonwoods
at Smoke Creek and wake up the desert.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Out on the mud flats the heron wait
for the next tide to bring in tasty bits,
Jimmy and Buster are on the oyster boat
with a couple of beers, behind the smugery
my tribe doesn't expect to be taken seriously,
we are the six fishermen
sitting on lawn chairs in shallow water,
it's not lazy, it's restful.
In the kitchen Carol is chopping peppers
for the salad, she says,
"Did I tell you about Gary?"
Carol told me all I didn't need to know
about Ed getting arrested
behind Charlie's Tavern, Christy's flirting games
at her birthday party, the school teacher
getting fired. I have a cold,
there's great irritation around my head,
"No, what about Gary."
Monday, May 11, 2009
A dead end is always twice traveled,
once going in, prospecting,
and then looking back, the long way
back over covered ground.
A dead end is a worn path
to nowhere, a riverbank,
the face of a cliff, Karen.
There's no benefit to waiting around,
nothing will change, it's a dead end.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
The trail below Sylvia lake
crosses layers of hard clay
that go devious in a winter rain,
boot sucking glop, slimy
as political rhetoric, turns the path
to a glissade through sword ferns
and salal, the butt gets
it's own layer of rhetoric, boots kick
and scrape before they return home
but the slime sticks, for months.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Bill's idea of fixing up to go into town
is kick the mud off his boots
so when he tells me I need to dress better
I figure I ought to get serious and listen up,
even his dog, Poker, takes notice.
He says I don't get enough respect
because of the blown out elbow on my work shirt,
the patches on my loggers, and my boots
are split out, he says my old T-shirt
needs help, and he's looking at my hat too.
Bill's going into town anyway
for a headlight and a bucket of roofing tar
so he gives me a ride to the new store, Lester's.
Poker waits in the truck while Bill and Lester
pick out a light blue button-down Pinpoint,
wool blend camel trousers,
slip-on kangaroo boots, a western style
wool vest, and a genuine Donegal wool touring cap.
After the credit card spasms I'm looking large
and Lester says, "Thanks Uncle Bill."
I take a 'get serious' look at Bill
and he says, "Let's go to the 'Bee' for lunch,
it's on my nickel." "I'd like to join ya, Bill,"
I says, "but you're not dressed to my standard,
and the way Poker sheds,
I'll find my own way back to the ranch."
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Saturday, May 02, 2009
that I should see your smile
in the first sip of morning tea
and the last sip of evening,
and in soap bubbles
sliding down a wineglass?
Who are you
that I should introduce Bluebirds
bouncing through Scrub Juniper,
hear them whistle and squabble?
Who are you that purple flowers
at North Long Point remind me
of tumbling dark hair?
Where are you?