loss

broke

broken-wing

I got enough.
I got all I need.
Got strong legs to hop
Got pointy beak to peck
Got sharp eyes to hunt
and a field full of grubs.

Said the broke-wing raven

Flight’s overrated.
There I was, aloft
and wham
here I am.
Friends up there in the trees
spending all that energy.
Don’t need nobody.
Don’t need no one.

Said the broke-wing raven

It’s all good.
Y’all go on without me.

 

brother

IMG_2298 1

I can’t imagine how puzzled
my mom must feel
to have outlived her son.

Her precious dark-haired boy,
the big one
at age 2,
meant to look after his blond
blue-eyed brother,
then curly haired
little sister,

then me, the squealing surprise package
when he
was 11.

Maybe he should have been
the baby
for a little longer,
caretaker that he was.

Never could stand
to see anyone cry, always
the one to say “It’s okay.”

I wish we’d had more time
in these years, my brother,
but I’m glad
I got to
take care of you.

shelter

A sense of place in a time of loss

Photo by Octodrone Maxilla

Shelter me

says the millipede to the leaf
as the air goes cold in springtime

Oh, shelter me

says the leaf to the twig
as the breeze lifts her fellows ‘long the climb

Oh, oh shelter me

says the twig to the branch
as the storm becomes less than benign

Shelter, oh shelter me

says the branch to the tree
as it clings to the strong wooden spine

Shelter me, oh, shelter me

says the tree to the forest
as lightning’s child razes her shrine

Shelter me shelter me

says the smoke to the air
as the last ash drifts dusty and fine.

Shelter me

says the speck to the millipede
as it settles to ground

and becomes part of time.

 

 

Evva

Dale obit

Pardon me, my dearest friend,
while I for two minutes make your death about me.

Because they didn’t tell us our friends would die.

Maybe his friend, or hers, or theirs,
Maybe my mom’s and dad’s,
then my dad
then my brother.

But our tribe, the ones we choose, the ones
we lounge about laughing at dumb teevee with,

the ones who teach us to cross-country ski,
and always get us the perfect gift
and agonize with over yet another pair of shoes

And then cry with and
move away from and
who never listen to our excellent advice
nor we theirs,

the ones whose cores are so strong
forged in the fire of abuse, loneliness, and
unspeakable sorrow,

they

you

were supposed to prevail.

Because goddamnit

It’s all about me.

Border

flauta-de-paniagua

 

Light captured
in blown dust
makes a timbral ping,
plucked from air.

Thud of a boot
landing from on high,
a softer thump
than a running heart.

The hollow hoot
of a wind-blown bottle
Less lonely then the runner
Emptied of home and hope.

 

Please visit http://bordercantos.com/
Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo

Blessings on Pharoah

As the Israelites departed Egypt, it is written,
Pharoah asked Moses for a blessing.

Godmade mutant nature had
creeped fell hopped
flew flowed erupted
festered gnawed bit
until Pharaoh said “Let me go. By my gods and your One God, let me go.”

We will never know
what transpired between them,
Moses with his pack and stony coins of bread,
sandals untied from his haste to begone;
Pharaoh with eyes red and cheeks sunk in sorrow.

They must have heard the deafening silence outside,
broken by a lonely bleat, a sob, a slamming door.

I like to think Moses raised an eyebrow
and took his leave,

Pharoah wondering if that’s the form
this new evil god’s blessings take,
or if he had already been blessed
tenfold.

john-martin-the-seventh-plague-of-egypt

 

 

The Ninth

This kiss for the whole wide world, he wrote,
but without an embrace of his own
to quiet the klaxons between his useless ears,
he continued conducting to a silent hall.

Tortured and divine, and in the end merely mortal,
his unhappiness and hopefulness is eternal.

Embrace each other now, you millions.

ninth