The Garden

You said “jacaranda”
And I “bougainvillea”,
But neither of us know a thing
About either other than
The divine comedy of
Loving words,
Like when we didn’t know
The names for birds
So we invented them –
Marmalade Bunting,
Clicky-Throated Sparrow
The Tobias Finch –
The error of our ways
Like the joyous mistakes
Of Creation,
In the beginning
Was the Word
As God was just
Making stuff up
And here we are


For Wednesday Poetry Prompts


Crickets and weeds cooked dry
In the great dirt skillet
Of the Colorado Plateau –
Record heat crackling
Across to the Panhandle.

In 1942, men of my family
Put down ranching
And took to the sky,
Their tillers trained on Tokyo.
First settlers in covered wagons.
First Lieutenants in flight squadrons.

The Dust Bowl had left
A hard piece of scrabble,
Not enough topsoil
To hold any roots.

The ground grumbling,
Angry, stampedes of B27’s
From Pueblo Field –
Beasts of the earth
Transformed by speed,
Heat and wings rise
Shimmering from the land.

Maybe from the air
Flashes of feldspar
Were a beacon
From the bare rock atop Pikes Peak –
That original, distant promise
Soaring up from the prairie.



Wednesday Poetry Prompts:397


There’s a whole
In my pocket
That I worry
Like a prayer.

Maybe the opening from a
Crown of thorns
Or roses
That will prick my forehead.

Or an oculus
I can use to
Peer through
And see the firmament.

Perhaps a rent from a shard of time,
A splintered second
Left behind in the wash
Like a piece of glass.

Curious, I turn my mind
Inside out and shake. But only
A key, some change,


Standing in darkness
Before a pool of water lilies –
Lamplight shadows for company
And some coins in your hand
To toss for good luck.

One last prayer
Might be all you have
Before you go.

No promise
Of miracles.
No way to know if
Only you
Will hear.

You could finally answer
To what your life
Was made of:
How much was Love,
Or Fear,
Or Duty.

But you already
know that,
Don’t you?

Nothing Better

I run my finger along
That one rib
Right under your heart.
I think it is my lost one, no?
If I gently kiss it,
Will it open
Like a secret?

I would pray then that I find
I am not a Midas,
My desire leaving you gold,
That you are no Pandora,
Your nightmares swarming
While holding out hope.

If I were enough of a hero
I would enter into the mystery
Blindfolded through the maze,
Learn you by touch
Turn by turn.

I would have to swear
Never look at you directly
Unless I would spend eternity
Without you.
Because how would we live
If there was nothing to separate us?

If both our better and worse selves
Stuttered light and dark before us,
We would be as moths
Trapped in a streetlight,
Trying at once to find
A way in and a way out.

At Root

Because bulldozers do that –
They slice off the tap root
At ground level
As they smash aside
The trunk and branches.
But sometimes the root
Continues on,
Struggles to push deeper
Into dirt, water, darkness.
In confusion it tries
Passing its gifts upward
To phantom limbs.

No matter that something new
And maybe beautiful
Will arise in place. That
Even deeper roots
May eventually delve
And sustain.

What grew for years
Knows only its loss —
There is nothing left
To feed with dreams.