Fuck an A brother,
it’s all going to be ocean front property
when California slips on up the coast
and the Cascades sink into the sea.
We’re going to have us
a nice little inlet here.
‘Course it’s going to be a little hot
while Hanford’s still bubbling.
It’s safe though;
it’s safe. They keep telling us.
Tell that to the poor bastards
who died at Nagasaki.
Each morning we watch it come up
as we drive over a rise in the hills:
mountain in mist, mountain in sun,
in mountain itself.
I never go there;
you have to be a sorcerer.
All the roads say private.
A storm coming on from the East,
while looking down into the valleys
sun-patches crossed the tops of trees.
Wheat fields in the West
being closed down in a cloud of dust
with green caterpillars crawling in a line:
evening air, red with dust.
The other book:
Old mountain, old trees
listening to the echoes of black seas
as they flowed from fissures
and never crashed back from the shore.
They remember what was in the bones of the earth,
echoes from the dream,
a dream of shadows marking the future.
first published in Wind Row, Spring, 1985.