Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekly Worded

         The Other One

My left hand looks older,
first time I've noticed this century.
Naturally, I knew it would age,

those fingers opening and closing
like a chorus line, providing
a lifetime of stimulation.

So what did I expect?
Helping out, holding on
while the right one labors for both.

I'm surprised how the veins
have thickened, how the skin
puckers like tissue paper.

Clenched or unclenched,
it does mostly what it's told.
There, it reached

to touch my face.
See how it makes amends?
I forgive you, I forgive you.

Go wrestle with your brother
while I try to figure out
where you left the aspirin.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Weekly Worded

        Almost Human

Little known, the man comes home
to where he wasn’t missed,
unlocks his door, slips off his shoes,
imagines being kissed.

He waits a cautious moment,
inhales the stale air,
as if to little known, the man
could sense he wasn’t there.

He boils a cup of coffee,
he carves a slice of meat.
He says a little prayer
to always there, his feet.

He’ll watch a little football
before he goes to bed,
then hike the hinterland of his dreams
where little’s ever said.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Weekly Worded

       Death Song

I can not say when it will be,
though I know it’s out there
circling like a hawk on a thermal.

Every predictable catastrophe
lined up like songbirds on a wire,
lulling me with their mellifluous warble

but the one I’m waiting for
promises to be nothing I could imagine,
a cataclysmic massage

that starts at the back of the neck,
works it way into a pocket
of my brain where all the lightning

I’ve ever seen collects in a tracery
of veins so charged with brilliance
the illumination opens all of me --

not just my eyes -- and what I see
for a brief moment
tempers the tip of eternity.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Weekly Worded

       An Older Truth

I cut the plum tree down today.
No lesson here. No lie.
I cut the plum tree down today
because it died.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Weekly Worded

        Time Was

I could sleep on the ground,
a sheet of plastic my only protection
against the damp earth.

If it rained, I tugged my blanket
over my head and dreamt
a full moon into being,

fireflies like falling stars
penetrating the deep woods
until they covered me

and I drifted to the Milky Way,
so far away from myself
only sunlight could recapture my body.

Time was the animals approached
while I slept and counted my toes.
I could walk ten miles

on my first wind,
hit a fence post every time
with a perfect stone.

These days at my comfortable desk
my fingers shadow that life.
Time was I had no time for remembering.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekly Worded

                                            (watercolor 7"x 10") P. Smith
     Stocking the Universe

The sky turns a brighter gray, clouds
slip like light from under a closed door.
In less than an hour the day will be spent.

All the puddles and wet leaves
will turn silver if the moon breaks through.
I am hoping for moonlight.

I am lugging the planets in plastic grocery sacks
up a long flight of stairs.
At the top a lock must be undone,

a knob twisted, a switch
toggled by a clever elbow.
So much I carry counterbalanced

by the so much I need.
In sorting it all away, a scoop of ice cream
cradled in a freezer-burned bowl

skids to the back of the bin.
Covered with hoarfrost, it shimmers

like haze off a distant star.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Weekly Worded

       The Road to Shonto

A swale of soft red sand
undulates like a snake
between outcroppings of coal
chattering against the chassis
of my truck as I checkerboard
across the Navajo nation.

It's raining and I’m sluicing
on the surface of a semi-fluid sea bed.
When the rain stops mud coats
the sides of my pickup like paint.
Red paint. Red earth.
And still no Shonto.