Friday, November 08, 2013

H-R Diagram

Too late for walking,
the somber Dutch
farm houses, the Arts
and craft homes
have mostly gone dark.
The big street one
mile down buzzes
with traffic—the world
is awake with hot
rods and sirens,
there's a big barking
dog somewhere behind
my yard who just
sounds scared.  To
him, the sacred
stars mean nothing
while to know the
transits of planetary
bodies might
mean life.  Right
now a Honda hotrod
shoots down my street—
I can hear the neighbors
talking about the weekend.

I've decided to stay
as long as night
will keep me.  As long
as the cigarettes last.
I'm the crack of leaves
Blowing down the street!
Even my dogs know
it's too late.  No
crescent moon, no
stories to be told
on a cold walk through
alleys looking for cats,
raccoons, anything
alive, anything except
the din of traffic
in and out of the town.
Don't get me wrong.   We all
have some place to go.
watersheds, pilgrims' banquets,
that's all ahead.

I Trust You Know the Night

Learning to be alone
is one thing.  The mountains,
the lake beckon with delights--
slight granite  inclines
that you can still
pull through even though you're
50. But the mountain is
lying to you.
As much as you're
lying to your self.  For
the peak you aim for
you climbed.  Long
ago when water
actually ran and some
Cottonwoods survived
to give shade where
the desert ended and the
pines began, where the beargrass
stood tall in gray fields
lazy in the wind.  Their
whisper is your key, your
song.  Like the slight
bells ringing in night
air beyond your home.

It is the sound of being
alone.  A good quiet
in the high hills while
friends below sit
in the city air--I've opened
a door somewhere.  In a rock,
in granite a billion years old.
up here.  Sunshine streaming
on the tips of the high hills.

At home I await the deep sleep
of the suburbs.  The quiet
streets at two in the morning
are straight and hard like rails.  The houses,
dark and sleeping too.
I can wander like Ulysses
on the islands of grass,
walkways where
there are no sounds
in early November. Smoke
rising from chimneys.
Piñon somewhere burning.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

"Lives in a Dream"

Glad I left
glad you left
for whatever
reasons, not
to be alone.  The
endless climb.
The winding
river that lies.
What I found
there now
is pain.  Old
age pain,
grief for dead
dogs’ pain, a loss,
a nostalgia for place
that never was:  hiraeth.
Let me tell you—
streets are
the same, wide
dry avenidas—
not hard
to get lost
looping around
the inner burbs
during a Sunday run.
There's bums
and gunshots
everywhere. Big
tall buildings
on San Mateo & Central
stand like empty
lunging Brutalist
has-beens.  The light
is the light.
If you hadn't
no if I hadn't
driven out
one early
January to Tucson
another city
of the dead
with its own
drunken insane
poets & desert rats
we'd be withering
too somewhere
in the Sandias.
I'd be a hermit by now
ragged, filthy, filling my bags
with mushrooms
lichen, the
occasional hike
down Embudo Trail
to Smith's to buy
cans of beans,
cans of dog food.
And in your
Glenwood Heights
adobe mansion
you'd be filling
giant ashtrays
made from sun-warped
12 inch LP records
with butts you'd been
hot boxing all afternoon,
waiting for the bomb
to go off, waiting
for some rich folks
that you know, reading,
waiting for the sun to set
beyond the three dead
volcanoes on the Western horizon.