Thursday, December 16, 2010

as if she were

it should be enough
I suppose
to just see her there just
resting upon the tracks

to wonder
where she's been
and the snows
she's woken into shattered clouds

looking to the shattered window
and why is it always so?
i see men
who played her throttle
and more feared the brake

i see smoke through her hills
and wheels trailing grease
while bums raced and
reached for her doors

it's as if she were
yet alive
if only my eyes
could breathe

and if she were parked
at Miller's crossing
where never I care to go
or hidden at the bottom
of Whiskey River
where catfish would spawn
in her iron

would even i notice
the barren tracks
on which she played

it should be enough
i suppose
to see her there
and know she ran
the fields of my seasons
and carried my dreams
of departure

but seeing isn't enough
so I cross the fence
bramble my pants
and scramble the rock
just to feel her heat
once more

my hands caress
her weather-battered wood,
my eyes breathe again
the screech of her iron
and for a moment beyond time
it's as if
she were again
a cloud of wish
in the hillside of hope
my dreams of departure

Friday, December 10, 2010



The word didn't fall away
And float like an april breeze
But spewed and hissed
Like a trailer park gas leak
Whis- the hammer
Key- the nail
Driven home
Deep and true

The bartender didn't ask for particulars
knowing it didn't matter
And his face poured shame
To the jigger's dance


The room hung heavy above the street
Like a burp from hell
While inside
The red and green neon
Fiddled across the barren walls

He lay on his back
His arm crooked beneath his head
While her head rested
Upon his shoulder

They both stared up at the nothing
The other kept secret

The tornado had passed
The barn was gone
And the stained sheet
Proved shelter enough

Her tangled hair tickled his nose
While his batter baked
Between her sleeping thighs

The still after the storm always
Casts an eerie pall
that words cannot abate

He picked up a board
And turned it
Studied it
tossed it, and
Looked to where the barn had been

She looked to where the barn
Had never been

"i love you"

but the words didn't fall
And float
Like an April breeze
but rather, spewed
Like a trailer park gas leak

Love-the broken hammer
You-the bent nail
Salvaged from the twister
bred in the heat

She said
Much to his liking


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Broken Wing

I could do it
Ya know,
Soar the pass
peruse the rapids
Hunt the bitterroots, and
Nest on lookout pass

Would be nothing

I could
I mean really could
Breeze the surf
As the moon
Painted me
Upon the washed sands
Of broken tides

And then grab a thermo
Flip a whim
And search
For that island,
That shangri la
She spoke of
In my dreams

And i could
Really could
Break the tethers
Of earthen pull
Find love among the clouds
Two as one
In twisted spiral
From the heaven we garnished
Only to separate
And rise
To regain our momentum

Could ya know

Been watching the geese
Peppered against
The boundless blue
The hawks
With their chests puffed
To bully the wind
And the jets
Carving etch-a-sketch

I remember
A hummingbird
That lay flightless on the ground
I held him
Hoped him healed
Built him a home
Among the flowers
And kept a vigil
She abandoned
For one of greater ability

He watched her
And her hims
As they blended themselves
In summer gluttony
And he tried
He really did
This careless warrior
But it was always the same
Three drunken circles
And a crash upside down

Til one morning
He just lay still

I could, you know
Really could
Map the Bitterroots
Paint the sand
Find shangri la

-Love you

But fragile wings break
And vigils are
Rarely kept
So i wait
To become still


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Maple leaf

I know a maple
now beyond its prime

it sits on the edge of a river
with too much root showing.
and just off the bank is a deep pool
where fish gather to rest

I lean to this tree
while my pole lies lazy
and careless

usually, I watch the current
or the train rattling
the trestle, while my line drifts and
bounces the bottom harmlessly

but one day,
I fell back in the grass
and looked to the sky

and there,
so near the top
of this once mighty tree,
was a small leaf, alone
on a branch whose time
had come and gone

this red and green leaf
waved and danced
to a warm summer breeze
and I knew,
it would be the last

I haven't been there
in a while now, and
I wonder of it

someone left an old
wooden box, Coke
I think,
just below the tree

and silly as it sounds,
as I drive I worry
when finally it breaks free
of a branch that will never
hold another,
will it float free and drift
on the swirling current
where yet it might dance?
or will it fall in the box,
where dancing is just a memory?