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

image

 

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.

Tree, Ice, Window (December 13, 2000)

Tree, Ice, Window (December 13, 2000)

I.

This doubling of age,
increments gained, like a shadow’s

flesh, ever flowering, ever diminishing,
consuming all.

And having gained stature,
what of the syllables lost in the blur,

the fecund process
unnoticed, unheard.

Reciprocity of motion, the leaf’s descent.

II.

Bent under the hour’s weight, it
departs untouched,

aloof,
yet watched and not alone,

enduring its slow release
as the morning deepens.

III.

The eyelid droops, then opens,
defying gravity and those things heavier than air,

and opening, rescinds
all notion of secrecy.

Somewhere the voice expends its energy
and lies fallow,

like a storm awaiting the perfect
moment, then appears

in all its arterial splendor,
tunneling through the night’s long reach

and the transparent dream.
Or a hand draws the shade.

 

An older poem, from the “vault.” I barely remember writing it.

Life among the Prickly Pear

image

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. It seemed appropriate to this stormy weekend. On a personal note, I’ll need to inspect a flood-prone creek on Monday. I wonder how it will be…

In the meantime, two of my guitar heroes: