april’s last day haiku

twilight star balanced
on the last bit of mountain
promises us spring.

night is warm enough
for me now – the blanket light
around my shoulders.

the tire swing could not
fly any higher – with each
push they squeal it does.

green grass so still it
moves me, and underneath teems
every kind of life.

the longer I sit,
the more I understand the
relevance of trees.

something sacred rides
in on the voice of springtime’s
first solo cricket.

Where Does It Hurt?

Help me, you say,
I’m dying, you say,
and the doctors in white
tell you No,
whisper it
in the hallways
while we hold your cooling
hands.  Where does it hurt?
they ask, and you reply,
But everywhere is not enough,
not Specific Enough,
so you beg
as your son arranges the headphones
and Van Morrison works for a while,
lifts you away
from the feet that shuffle
up and down vanilla hallways –
the night staff
and the morning staff, the mid-
morning staff and the ones in green
with trays and, Help me, you say
to anyone who will listen,
so your son begs
on your behalf
and the doctor
calls the specialist,
No Diagnosis, they nod
as they hand you
your Tylenol.  We pace
up and down vanilla hallways
where it is always brighter than daylight,
back and forth across the walkway that links
the North Tower to the South,
cars passing underneath,
and where we pass on our way
into the LA night,
driving nowhere,
or to an all night diner
where we will plan the heist of you,
your rescue,
your escape,
and where we will make the promise
that when our time comes
we will be ready,
because in this story
a man lay dying
as the white winged angels
spend their days in ethics committees
and passing out Tylenol.

Gratitude to a Sore Throat

At the jungle lean-to
where the Utes once
piggy-backed Ute babies too,
we will find four perfect
sticks for stirring
coffee beans – penny
for a cup – you brew,
I drink,
and after fourteen cups,
you will serve me another
before we count coins
into your wallet
for an adventure
or gumballs,
or both,
Do I have enough for both?
And the helicopter
will save the space shuttle
from the slithering sea monsters
somewhere over the Indian Ocean
as the flush-cheeked pilot
lands on the lambskin rug,
his head on the lap
that will never tire
of these rescues.

Love Poem for a Town

The second law
of thermodynamics
states that heat flows

from an object
with a high temperature
to that with a low,

until both objects
reach an equal state.  I am
beginning to understand

that we work this way too,
as we sidle up
to one another to absorb

the grief and the joy,
the breakthroughs,
the births

and passings,
the discoveries,
the recoveries – our

cellular kelvins equalizing
in this sacred bowl
between the white mountains.


Names like prayers –
Kayenta, Wingate,
Chinle, Moenkopi, Cutler

red rock layers,
one word each,
ten million years
or more.  We stand
on Dead Horse Point
where (legend has it) herds
of wild mustangs were corralled
and left to die
after the strong ones were selected.
Kayenta, Wingate,
Chinle, Moenkopi, Cutler

low raven wing-drums
the last cool gusts of springtime
and two thousand feet below,
the green Colorado still invents
these pyramids and steeples,
sandstone towers
and so many walls,
Kayenta, Wingate,
Chinle, Moenkopi, Cutler
– we want
to remember the names,
so we say them again, feel
them in our mouths like the red sand
between our teeth.  Beside you,
I am learning about layers –
ten million years  to form,
but to peel away –
the time it takes
to hear my own name
like a prayer.