a short walk (20180308)

everything is new
to the new dog
each smell a redolent benediction
from nature’s upraised hand
the rotting carcass
of a crow an equal
of a smoking thurible
each ecstatic stream of urine
a harmonic note
added a chorus of previous hymns

so much outside
franti sniffing
making up for this lack of knowledge
so much i wasn’t aware of
so much to be thankful for
the grass
the wind
the sun in my eyes
even the decayed leaves
even the mud
even the shit
thank you for outside
thank you for newness

pieces (20170501)

silent tracks this morning

but so much glass
glittering on the ground
were the wind to pick up
the air would cut me
to pieces

i follow the rails in shoes
with soles so thin
i feel every facet of every stone
trying to pierce my feet

though empty, i have seen the trains

not the romantic locomotives
with porters and bewatched conductors
crowded dining cars
mysterious liaisons
but industrial bulk behemoths
the color of rust
the odor of old burned oil
delivering invisibles
in closed cars

i walk the middle of the track
iron on either side

a shirtless jogger approaches
loping toward me
glistening in the sun
i imagine myself
in a coat hanging past the knee
a dusty, wide-brimmed hat
arm relaxed but ready
to draw at my side

another poet’s words
write themselves nearby
first in soot
then in blood:
inspired by beauty
betrayed by lust
abandon[ed] by greed
enslaved by guilt

the jogger turns
the wind rises
and i am cut to pieces

Poem 20160117

sacked out
at my feet
the dog looks tired
tongue hanging out
where he is missing teeth

on the walk
he seemed lively
and we took a route
we rarely take
so we could hear the frogs
in the creek
whenever the cars weren’t
whooshing past us
and we had
a moment of stillness

he snores
i smell the scent
of wood smoke from chimneys
see the blanket of low clouds
not quite fog
listening again
to the throaty calls
of frogs

Poem 20150730

he watches her go
and starts to follow
but stops himself

sure that whatever he has to say
has already been said
whatever steps he’s going to take
have already been taken

he thinks about the sound
his footfalls would make
a slapping on the pavement
hurrying to overtake her own
shorter, insistent steps

thinks about how everyone
will stare
and wonder what it is
that he did
because she is the one
storming away

and before she can get any smaller
diminish any more
as she attempts
to merge with the horizon

he runs

Poem 20150212

on the walk the dog stops
more than he should
to tear up blades of grass
and try to chew them with teeth
he doesn’t have
you don’t know anything
about the water they use
–is it reclaimed?–
to water the grass
or if there are pesticides
or hallucinogenic mushroom spores
clinging to the underside
of the leaves

you tell him to stop
pulling the leash again
and again
for his own good
and the next time he pauses
instead of eating the grass
he rolls in it
instantly a puppy
instantly forgiven
with blades of grass hanging
from his mouth

Poem 20141222

where you walk
stones split open
and voices of fire
whisper the secrets
of worlds below

where you tarry
lavender springs from the earth
and the air fills with
the conversation of bees
and the whispers of hummingbirds

where you sleep
the stars weep with bitterness
envious of the earth
upon which you lay your head
and the darkness
seeks to cover you
like a mantle

Poem 20141116

Did a ton of yard work yesterday and I was too tired to even think about writing a poem.  We’ll see what I can squeezez out today.

The coyote stopped
Stared into the flashlight
While we crossed the street
It’s coat was grey and shiny
It looked well-fed
Though I hadn’t heard about
Any missing pets

It kept its distance
We kept ours

The dog on the end of the leash
Who can’t see well in the dark
Didn’t catch a scent of his distant, wild cousin
Or there would have been whined greetings
But I think
The coyote appreciated
Our giving him his space
And he turned
And prowled the perimeter of the bushes
Looking for dinner