Friday, October 30, 2015

Weekly Worded

          Bus Stop

Seven o’clock.
Bus go
fifty feet or so.
Bus stop.
Dogs bark.
Bus go,
speed low.
Take turn.
Bus stop.
Mom and tot.
Bus go.
Lights flash.
Can’t pass.
Bus stop.
Children sit.
Bus go.
Traffic flow.
Bus stop.
Bus wait.
Kid late.
Bus go.
Hand waves.
Rail track.
Bus stop.
Train? No.
Bus go.
Finally see
yellow sign.
School zone:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Weekly Worded

       An Inch of Rain

It doesn’t sound like much, an inch
being of so little consequence
it occupies the space
between a set of knuckles
but when you realize rain comes down 
like a sheet of plastic an inch thick
across miles of undulating farmland, 
conforming to its rises and falls,
saturating the trees, leaves and limbs, 
clinging to the surface of rivers 
for an instant before being sucked down 
into the convection of water tables and aquifers, 
then a mere inch swells to such proportions
it forces the mind to the surface of simple thought 
like an ocean buoy, marking the way to safety.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Weekly Worded

      Autumn Steep

Down is not where I planned to go
on a Saturday afternoon, with an ominous
thunder head boiling over the Blue Mountains.
The sign, after all, marked the trailhead
as Aspen Flats. I had imagined a ride
along a hard-packed dirt path,
yellow aspen leaves falling like gold coins.

I got it all wrong. The trail
fell away steeper than the earth’s curve,
cliff-like, taking its nosebleed dive over
rocks that shook my world.
I stayed balanced like a high wire act
performing to an empty tent.
Backcountry deaths and disappearances
get spotted like mountain storms -- from a distance.

Who would have guessed how much terror
etches itself like petroglyphs into a surface
cold as stone? I was drawn like water
to its basest level, and felt sure,
even if hell bound, I would get there.
I had no choice. Bedrock, wherever found,
would be a place I could not have imagined.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Weekly Worded

       The Hole Truth

The discomfort made me wince
until the otoscope made its final curve,
bathing my eardrum in light.
“Now do you see the hole?” my doctor asked.
I wasn’t sure what I saw,
having never toured that grotto before,
my tunnel of wax, the tiny workshop
where a hammer, anvil, and stirrup 
resonate with meaning.
Was it the choir invisible
buzzing in my ear?
A gnat with operatic wings?
This view of my inner self prodded me
to ask if my soul was back there too,
gleaming like a stainless steel sink.
Or if imagination’s bulb had been
left burning in the attic.
But no, I saw the breach -- just one
of my imperfections.
If the doctor probed deeper
we’d be standing together on an abyss
where he could shout all day
and never expect an answer.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekly Worded

        Lunar Pranks

In the land of the twisted juniper
the moon still tugs, tethered to its orbit,
its phases like beads on an abacus
counting luminous days.

How silvered the sage turns, as if
sheathed in ice, the dry tide rippling
desert sand that for centuries
shifts like the gauze of a curtain,

never frightening the old ones
so enamored of predictable change
until an eclipsed moon like a drop
of blood rises over their ancestors' graves.