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.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Weekly Worded


I’m attracted to the flash, the color
glittering as if the stars have fallen to earth.
I’m attracted to the silver
shining wet like mercury spilled
from a broken thermometer.
All that dangle turning heads,
and I’m hooked before she ever gets out the door.
I’m attracted to any movement,
how the air drips as it undulates,
any twist, tug, like instinct itself
intent on getting away.
I’m attracted to the tiny swivel
that keeps it all aligned,
the way three barbs draw the eye
even where I know there’s danger.
I’m attracted to the narrow thread
that originates from someplace else, the line
attached to every part of me
like a marionette
performing at safe distance.
And I’m aware, of course, how all this shimmer
begins with a stab of pain, a tiny spur
piercing the skin that tugs
and tears and swells for years
beyond the instant I’m first attracted.
The way I dance, always inspired
by the way she dances.