El Sueño

In the hours between
the rooster and the dog,
where the round rock

balances impossibly,
the Mexican Buddha
watches the horizon,

unwavering in the shadow
of the white breasted
frigate.  Still-winged

raven etches black
circles on the salty mist
and is also tattooed

across the back
of the Buddha. 
Heron bones swivel

pale feathers and foam
along surf’s edge calling
silently, burn bright

and return to the sea.

Death and Snow

17 days later,
and the carcass
remains –

leg still corkscrewed
between rails
of fenceline,

back haunch
still intact as if
death delivered yesterday,

but above the upper thigh
(or below as the case may
be, as the deer

hangs upside down
by her ankle), the
flesh is no longer.

Between pink stained
ribs, the wind blows
without the knowledge

that a network of cells
once hummed here.
Fur becomes dirt –

brown patches
upon brown patches.
Most striking are the

footprints, rays of sunlight
emanate from the carcass
in all directions, revealing

a grand gathering
of scavengers summoned
to bring grace to the site 

of this necessary death,
helping nature to wrap arms
around the bones and blood,

fur and flesh,
in one last act of humility,
so that she may disappear

into everything
without the infamy
of hanging upside down

by one ankle
in this empty pasture,
for all the world to see.

Clean Up

The sidewalk is stained red
where the leaves used to be.
I have waited too long,

the mulching already begun
as the tempestuous wind whips in
from the west,

taking half of the pile,
and still I move them
arms to bin, arms to bin,

these remnants of spring,
wet, rotting,
alive with squirming larvae

which, for some reason,
do not seem to bother me