Desert Riders

Dinosaur footprints
that we do not see,
this earth was made

to be rambled on.
Poetry writes itself
between black tires

and the road
as Navaho sandstone
and cryptobiotic cities

contend for galactic vistas
beneath blues so wide
they swallow the sky.

The great red plains
of a Mars moon blaze
like the setting sun,

like the riders
who make their way home
over long

desert shadows,
bodies full of exhaustion
and the sweet

freedom to say yes
and yes
and yes, riding

like an exclamation mark
for the pure joy
of living.

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Beyond the Ruins

In a morning desert
where the red rocks hang
from the misty remnants
of last nights storm,

up and up
between the
shrouded clouds
and into the silent blue,

the canyon opens
like the ancient mouth
and whispers the thing
that you have always known.

And so you
stop to listen
as if your life
depended on it,

which certainly it does,
then mount your
wheeled horse and pedal fast
over rocks and sand,

as the world behind you
disappears into the revelation
of a perfect yellow
winter sun.

Wildflowers

Five rustling riders
whoop down a mountainside.
Purple finds them

on their wheeled horses,
bare shoulders whipping
against the tall summertime

lupin. They reel in
high alpine passes like great,
colorful fish, laying the groundwork

for next week’s euphoric recall –
even as their weary legs burn
like fire, and spokes fly

like rusted wire – they give themselves
over to drowning
in yet another flaming hillside,

so bright with electric pigment
it is certain to bring a grown human
to her knees

in the wild yellow sunflowers,
amid these ever blossoming
friendships, simultaneously

brand new
and ancient, like the holy
Rocky Mountains.

Bicycles

By the green river,
you suspend your silence
to discuss matters,

the big
and the not so big,
and this is why

the riding of bikes
with a good friend
is so joyful –

the togetherness, but also
the alone
togetherness

as you fly
on the edge of recklessness
past the boulder

and the cactus
that imbedded itself
in your thigh last spring.

It is in the resting
where the sweetest stories
are woven,

and where
you might notice
three white butterflies

who dance together
before becoming
two again.

Riding in the Rain

On the edge of control
(leaning toward none),
I grip the brakes, tires popping,

spinning over root
and stone.  Humbled
by the hurtling,

I am certain
that I am not the one
controlling this experience.

Look ahead of you,
my friend advises, See
the path you want to take,

not the obstacles
you are trying to avoid.
And between peals of thunder,

everything changes.
Exhilarating raindrops link
the rolling clouds

to our bare arms,
and the way
becomes clear.