Cicadas Seeking

Come out, come out, wherever you are –
soul’s promise and star’s heart.
No key turns a magic lock when
you are, you are off the clock.

Surrounded by what separates,
from in here sounds sound like words,
melodies from mars to H-bomb within
a harmony as sturdy as earth’s crust.

So long in the womb the world curls,
parental voices are bones and muscle,
so hearing the sunshine sizzling and water
dripping demands rising above swimming.

Viruses, pollens, seas of migrating sights,
having been spit out attachment flies,
cannot be held and wouldn’t anyway
amount to a nest for your new bird.

Above counting mornings by nightfalls
how many clocks wound and set click
like chirps of summer, cicadas seeking
soul’s promise within star’s heart?


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The rabbit visited
the same knob on the hill
as the hill knob he sat on last time
and the time before where
he received instruction
and blessing from proper
mother and staid father
telling him hopefully
he was grown.

Up the boulderfield
to where snow stubbornly
hides shadow in the shadows
not allowing spring
space to run, gaze, or even
room to breathe,
punch-drunk from height
a coyote employs her
sleep-inspired respiration.

Owls rarely seen
before they strike,
blossoms opening
to invisible bees,
and your best guess at who
could be good for you.
These are examples of genius,
tongue-tipped, brain-centered
bell-rung, dumb moments.

Unfolded, unwrapped messages,
unsent and undelivered,
lost like sun in cloud
then found like a mouse
snatched up by angels.

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Emotions In Space

a cavernous string of caves
just less than close enough

a round thorny bramble
a drawn-out cirro-stratus

the fence around the pasture
cannot be grasped by two fingers

the distance between wingtips
of migrating geese
four approaching lips

cliff immanent
a star blind to its planets

the eagle’s view of the snake
the snake looks up from her rock at the eagle

the one foot the quake slid
the invisible thunder over the ridge

how far venus is from sunrise
a poem rained on

the time between two dreams
past the question’s reach

suspended in pool mouth upward

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The Deep Light Caress

A woman, who just as well
might have been a man, tells
neighbors of her curse – the poignant
dolorous blah of an urchin

felt in the shoulder blades,
heard ultrasonically saying
with a petulant sadness,
‘nobody’s fault, nobody’s fault.’

This rather rambunctious ghost
of a boy growing up playing
in the mine’s mystery conveyed
gritty feelings of slow doubt.

An almost vertiginous
sense of waywardness –
always rubbing his eyes
never getting it out.

Like the sound of a dove
that sounds like an owl
that looks like a wraith,
he swoops along her ground,

hungry for her shadow,
thirsty for old salty days
when two directions only
pushed and pulled his youth –

onto the fog-laden rocks
separating sandy pools
where life reduces to polyps
where breath is foamy, irregular,

or the other way out to deep
ever-same and ever-changing
land of no land, no map, no
return unless you swim hard now.

He bleats wildly choking
on the phlegm of a century
swallowing again how he fought
with the foreman and disappeared.

It took a long time to shake
off depressed torpor and ascend
from the damp-bottomed darkness
of that ladder unclimbed, forgotten.

Two hundred feet through festering
resignation and lightening layers
of lead and gold to unwarming cold
rising nightly into skin and soul

of this miss unwilling and barely
aware of hosting in tidelike
resurgence and then release
the bludgeoned and abandoned waif.

A joining across impossibility
because he died below her shack,
because she lived where her grandfather
dug all day in laborious black.

Those who appoint themselves expert
on the not-so-natural nature
of the winds, waves, squirms and
fuzzy knocks of the murdered

sometimes say the logic of haunting
lies in relationship, or revenge,
or in unrequited mortal desires, but
cause and effect are undefendable.

A neck will tingle when it happens
to be present and available just
as the curious irrepressible dead
float by dreadlessly.

Who then are those who possess
the common accident of passing
of finer stuff into the grosser?
Those open to the caress.

The deep, light caress known by
the few of us unattuned but open to
voices out of time, to essences
loitering a blind gasp away.

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Over Under Drawn Drunk

Undershot overarched
not known but ground out is
how to climb a mountain
not straight up but
in switchbacks around
true ridge and gorge
with and following rhythms
of neither man nor animal
it is after all
a lump of earth.

Underlinked overmooned
not engineered or dug
like a trench or plumbed
like a city plat too felt
to be written down marriage
crying out for change
bent minute by lost hour
infinite prairie under driven
snow lighter this year
the happy couple doubts.

Over under drawn drunk
the intrepid inventor’s
acrid febrile laboratory
packed with labeled options
nurturant to all angled
and novel juxtapositions
welcomes disruption
awaits fertile error
wagon-trains wilderness
and outlearns mind.

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The new marrow of old bones.
The glorious stains slightly inherited.
The foundation that travels with you.
The medium that cannot be covered.

Out of an imoressionistic painting
in a wood in a valley at the edge
of the realm of straight lines and corners
the boundaries of belonging stretch.

A house with windows only in the front,
none in the back, ivy on both sides,
is home to a seer, a man used to slights,
who ignores the past, whose future decides.

He sees three deer almost every night.
They would stand for half an hour then run
He wants to get close enought to touch them.
But if he’s outside they do not come.

Nothing invested, every thing traded,
he has no offspring, all children are his.
Every three generations a move is made,
by pestilence, war, by avalanche.

The old paint must be scraped off,
totally removed although what remains
informs some as yet apprehended
atmosphere on a lingering canvas.

He thoughtfully scratches his ephemeral
head in a home never lived in
before arriving at this particular
oscillation of understanding of

the new marrow of old bones,
the glorious stains slightly inherited,
the foundation that travels with you,
the medium that cannot be covered.

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Not So Much Selling as Belonging

I am a traveling salesman stuck
in a nation of patients running the asylum.
Whatever stories are told take hold,
sold by thieves and psychiatrists.

I spent a week in the southwest –
dogs barked from dawn to dusk
and even later when their drunk owners
came home after line-dancing and karaoke.

Assigned to the low-hanging twin towers
of silicon and silicone I make bank
thanks to the artificial sentiments
of the prettyboy wannabe robots.

Sitting at a table at the convention center
I closed the deal with the heartland plumber.
He wanted what I had, dunno why,
but the contract was signed and peace ruled.

Forced against my will to sell nothings
to the rich in the northeast ghettos
I walked with angels through death and traffic
and made a million by closing my eyes.

I am a traveling salesman stuck
in a nation of patients running the asylum.
Whatever stories are told take hold,
sold by thieves and psychiatrists.

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