Trail of Yes

We are blue trail
treading on berries
of juniper, fractured

branch, bleeding sap,
anointed air. We are red
bud cactus flower explosion

between stinging needles,
and golden lichen on
the gnarled stump. We are rattle

of raven behind white clouds
and whiter still, we are sun-bleached
deer bone signature

of the lion’s night prowl
that makes hairs stand
on their ends. We are footprint

echoes on wet, black earth,
wind from beneath the precipice
and a changing sky before

the rain. And we are
porch swing, screen door open
chord guitar music,

first star strumming
half moon rise, and we are yes,
and yes, we sing,

for the many bright and broken
colors, yes, we sing,
there is living to be done.

Minnesota Creek

Up past Lily Lane,
winter tires sink deep
into January

mud, and the road
gets twisty
beneath the width

of a silver truck.
Fields tattooed
with the feet

of ruddy cattle
give way to high
country ranchland,

and we drive
over sparkling passes
and into the sky,

into the cold, clean air
like the wild geese,
honest and free,

living our lives
like this
on a Saturday,

flying toward sunlight
and into
the great blue.

Books

Before you died,
you told me
that these shelves

would look better filled
with books. This little house
has since become

a home,
rooms overflowing
with the footprints

of my children
and the voices
of friends. Our lives,

a stacking
of sweet and tattered
imperfections,

resemble now
these beautiful
bursting shelves,

now dusty, and topped
with your alabaster urn,
silver in the moonlight.

Under the Two Thirds Moon

Discover a pouch
of tobacco left by a traveler
and roll a cigarette
without the shape
of experience.
Smoke a third
and think about
how maybe this is
what poets do
(you have known
many) – some
use words,
or wisdom,
or simply spend
their hours
beauty making
beneath this moon
on a dimmer
as the light returns,
disappears
and returns again.

Walking Home

Between black soil and platinum
sky, the first August chill gathers
on our skin.  Earth ripe

with muck and spore
beneath our summer shoes, we trip
down the creek-less

wash where not one drop
has flowed all season.  But here,
there is a promise

inside this rain that dapples
our bare arms and saturates
each thirsty breath.  The promise,

it is life,
and despite
the slip and chill,

it is what we choose reverently
with each
muddied

step.