Letter to the Answer Men

Dear
Don Trump, Scott Pruitt, and Ryan Zinke,

Please help us understand why
it’s raining in the Colorado mountains
in December.

Signed,

The Deer
Black Bears
Beavers
Ravens
Rabbits
Bald Eagles
Elk
Owls
Chipmunks
Bighorn Sheep
Wild Horses
Coyotes
Squirrels
Moose
River Otters
Fox
Sage Grouse
Red-Tailed Hawks
Marmots
and Children

Flat Planet

Hark the herald angels
sing the red line boldly,
this is not my story.
This is not our story.

He’ll tell you that the planet’s flat,
negligent explorer,
pockets lined with glory
trumpeting his glory,

full steam shipping down the line
toward the edge of reason,
he’s always keeping score, we
the people, brace for war,

lost for words but not conviction
when nothing left is sacred,
march right or you be wary,
things just might get scary,

so trade this fear for action,
and batten down the hatches,
lean against the oar,
let’s make love the allegory,
make love the allegory.

Oakland

Raw
fish flesh
under scales,
we dine
on words
unfiltered.
There has been
a fire,
artwork ablaze,
friend of
a friend
inside.
One way in
and one
way out,
we swallow
the glass
with brine.
Once it has
been ordered,
all we can do
is drink.
Can you help,
the old Man says,
it’s the holidays,
and everyone
with pockets
turned inside
out has
nothing left
for the woman
who asks
for just one warm
cup of coffee,
too many corners,
with hands
that pray
for giving
and not enough
givers,
and the security
man says,
I can’t reach you,
one last time
before the walls
come tumbling
down.

Pledge

We must do
everything better
than we did before,

devote our attention to
each word or glimmer
of sadness and of shame,
of sweetness and of fury,
and to all the holy voices.

Time to hold each stone
in our bare hands –
turn it over and over,
smell it, taste it
and feel the shape of it,

expose our skin to
the air of early morning,
let our fingers trace
the landscape
of the small hand
that walks beside us.

What revelation
in the boldness of a blue sky
and in the frost that gathers
at the edges of November
grass, where a deer,

still as the Buddha,
sits with eyes wide open
even as the season
turns to cold.

Be the Love

When the dust gathers,
sweep the floor,
when the soil dries,
water the plants,
when mouths are hungry,
bake the bread,
when fear rises up,
tuck in the children,
when you need to be heard,
listen,
when you need to know,
ask the question,
when it gets dirty,
wash the dishes,
when it gets dark,
throw back the curtains,
when nighttime falls,
greet the day,
if you cannot comprehend,
speak only the truth,
if the door closes,
open your palms,
if you lose your way,
walk the path,
if it is love you seek,
be the love.