Houston

 

 

Houston

The difference in street and river.
Of sanctity and dreams, bones and water.
He offers prayer and thought, but no refuge.
The bruised sky continues weeping.
Frightened, the dog paces her narrow island.
Tents flap in the rooftop breeze.
I sit in comfort, watch the screen,
flowers, like gravestones, lining the walls.

 

 

“Houston” was first published at The Green Light in April 2019. Many thanks to editors Caitlin and Ash for taking this piece!

 

 

Texas Flood

 

 

 

Texas Flood

Sunlight sneaks through a crack, feathering
the overgrown lawn, electric blues in the air.
I have forgotten everything I once was.
An uprooted tree, the abandoned
steeple, a lone dog chained to a pole.
The uncertain puddle in a memory of howls.
Last night’s midnight ochre, in spades.
It lives behind me, like the wind.

 

“Texas Flood” was published in the print journal North Dakota Quarterly in February 2019.

 

And hey, here’s a video of SRV playing his version of “Texas Flood” with brother Jimmie.

 

Dickinson, Texas

 

Dickinson, Texas

Yellow light seeps through the clouds
pretending the storm has passed.

I am drawn to this falsehood like matches to
the abrasive box-end, a swatter to the fly.

Old women wait in the creeping water,
confidence draining with every risen

inch, their ears straining to believe.
As hill meets dusk and torn sky,

where heroes reveal their shared voice,
fear’s black finger scratches the roof.

 

“Dickinson, Texas” first appeared in Ristau: A Journal of Being in January 2019. Many thanks to editor Bob Penick for taking this piece.

Life among the Prickly Pear

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Life among the Prickly Pear

Rain’s twofold curse: not enough
too much. Still, I take comfort

even among the thorns.
There is much to like here.

Its moonlight flowers.
Paddles fried with minced garlic.

Wren’s jubilant shriek.
The fruit’s red nectar.

I wake to distant screech owls
purring their desires on separate

slopes. Late spring, storms looming.
I close my eyes and the creek rises.

 

* * *

A draft of this first appeared here in June 2015, and I posted this version in May 2016. I’ve had to deal with a flooded creek recently…

In the meantime, two of my guitar heroes:

The Green Light’s National Poetry Month Celebration

 

The Green Light has put up the collected works from their National Poetry Month celebration. .My poem “Houston” appeared on April 4th. Many thanks to editors Caitlin and Ash for taking this piece!

 

 

Thunder

 

Thunder

The low rumble says “look out, I’m coming,” but never specifies what to anticipate. Lightning strikes? Floods? High winds? Sometimes even the rain neglects us. Our pup hides under a blanket in her crate, and I contemplate a run to the store for beer and wine. Three years ago tornados were spotted in this area; they never touched our hills. The storm’s downdrafts bring us the fragrance of ozone. I marvel that three oxygen atoms combined in the atmosphere to produce such delight. How I remember inhaling deep draughts of summer storms in my childhood’s last years, watching thunderheads roll overhead, dreaming of victories and love and certainty, not yet knowing that desires change, that the unexpected always seizes its turn.

Under this roof
we smile at the clouds
our kettle whistling

 

“Thunder” first appeared in The Zen Space in July 2018.