Monday, March 14, 2011

Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico, 2011

The creosote is dry and black
and the mesquite is dry and gray
and the parched yew is dry too,
a dessicated yellow stalk scrawling
its bleached and barren pod into
a high calligraphy of white cirrus.

There are spikes and thorns
with bleached green razor edges,
but the cactus has ceased to care.

If a rainbow can be found
under the pale, pitiless sun
it rises from dust and rocks,
for the eye willing to wait,
and the rocks are drier still:

pink and sienna and gunmetal blue
for when the sand in the washed arroyo
desires the festive cracks of others.

The lake in the distance does not exist
as anything but a glittering that mocks
if it takes an act of faith to exist at all.

It is too early for the spring blush
and too late for the slivered moon.

There is only time
to wait for the time
like the other time,
that long ago time,

when water poured from the sky.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Port Isabel Lighthouse, 2011

Thrusting up seventy-five black iron steps
on chipped paint with edges decayed by salt
I twisted up round and around white bricks
caressed the exposed mortar with wet fingers
tracing for a groove under the beveled lens.

A voice floated up through the spiral,
a folk song sung from a face far below.

Between vertigo and spin I was lost in wonder.

A seagull spasmed against the glass
and shocked me to my senses.

There are things under the feathers, things
hidden from the dust that clenches the throat
with the dry fingers of remembrance.

That time on the last night when the sky exploded.