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By The Yard

They sell cloth by the yard,

back yard, front yard,

school yard, exercise yard,

lumber yard, junk yard,

rail yard, shipping yard.

My yard, your yard,

their yard,

whose yard is this now anyway?

If I climb over that barbed wire fence,

will I be in open range?

Snakes Alive

A serpent the color of asphalt as the night gathers around,

it is only the sine wave of motion to show its passage

across the path to the grass off to the side.

This is its first summer, not much larger

than a worm that has crawled onto the pavement

to prevent drowning, and in this instant

not a creature to be tread under man’s heel.


I have been having encounters with living things,

some seen, some not.

I am haunted by the living.

I long for the peace of ghost towns,

but they are filled.

I escape to the woods and deserts;

there are strange and haunting sounds.

When I climb into my time machine with wheels

to run away, I see the dead bugs

on the windscreen, inside,

I hear a fly buzz.

It is not the ghosts of the lived

that creep me out,

it is the living of the ghosts.

Lightning Strikes

The sun is engulfed in smoke as it sinks in the western sky.  It has changed from a burnished disk of copper into the color of a maraschino cherry waiting on the top of soft serve ice cream.

                The glassed walls of the new industrial complex on the eastern side of the highway which runs up to an old logging mill town catch the light from the sun, turning the windows into a bright neon sign glowing in the dwindling day.  There are no smokestacks billowing forth from this park.  It makes a safer form of electrical component for the modern world, but the neon like reflection brings to mind certain shady districts in an urban sprawl.  Business is just business.

                It was soon after the Fourth of July that the fires began to leap up under the heat dome.  The Media reported on the minor blazes stamped out quickly from the fireworks.  They also mentioned a ruptured femoral artery, a casualty of war.  A week later they mentioned the seventy odd lightening strikes in the state.  Their electrical discharges must have been throughout the western states.

                Most forest fires are caused by lightening you know.  Somebody was fond of telling me that.

                It must have been the “Only You” on the hat with Smokey.

                The Media also mentioned a woman dragged from her tent and eaten by a Grizzly.  Through the years, I have witnessed some live Grizzly behavior.  Mothers protecting their cubs from the young human cubs, digging burrows like big prairie dogs, bears will be bears.

                Fire will be fire.  Electricity will be electricity.  They have been observed by our kind for the twelve-million-year journey to owning industrial parks.  They were probably observed by the giant cave bear.  Ursa Major does not live here anymore.  The bear’s stars shine down in the black void above the smoke.

Making Introductions

I know a place where the feral hemlock grows,

and I know many people who should eat some.

I was taught how to cook, but is it worth it,

the trouble if by chance I get to meet them?


Step to the edge of what people contrive,

no matter how pretty,

no matter how wise,

the wind will sweep

to the edge of the skies.


The black wings shimmer as they pull up stream.  The stream’s course in a channel of deep bunch grass and green willow shadows and lights, a thousand shades, an infinite shade of verdant and dark weaves.  The bird is untouched by the flora.  The raven winds a course between them all.  It does not cry; it does not lie.  It flies at the will of its own.

Unicorns and Rainbows

I dropped a hanging ball of prism crystal a little lower in the window.  I used to be able to sit at certain hours and watch the rainbows dance about the room.  I haven’t seen the rainbows for years.  I’m afraid that the Grand Old Party is trying to blot out rainbows.  I suspect they have already slaughtered the unicorns.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Shel Silverstein wrote a book of poetry named “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.  It is a lot of fun stepping off the end of the sidewalk into the real world, but until you get there, there are some things to see along the way.


There are tricolors in the wetlands,

where cattails come to bear.

There are magick wands,

and floaties in the air.