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Category: Poetry

POEM: Going Over San Augustin Pass

Going Over San Augustin Pass

there’s a moment as the highway curves
when it looks like you’ll disappear
off the end of the Earth
lost in a pale blue sky from which
there is no returning

in the next moment you’re over the pass
spreading out before you is a basin so large
it’s as if the ground and sky switched places

far off in the distance
the pastel shadows of mountains
like an artist’s rendering

/ / /

26 February 2021
near Las Cruces, New Mexico

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POEM: The Accidental Balloonist

The Accidental Balloonist

A friend said I seem lighter these days.
It’s true I’m shedding the ballast of memory;
at times I float high enough to see.
I see the Hoover Dam rise from the desert floor.
I see the waxing moon set the cacti alight.
I see a woman laugh in a YouTube video.
I see a dog watching from down the hallway.
These things too I add to my memory;
in the spaces made by what I’ve left.

/ / /

25 February 2021
Catalina, Arizona

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POEM: Strip

Strip

It’s been 22 years since we kissed for the first and last time. You took your son and got on the plane. I put away songs I’ve never listened to again. Just recently I gave away the last thing I had of yours: a book of Shelley’s poetry with a bookmark at your favorite poem. Does that stone still fall to the earth when you let it go? I told you I’d love you till it stopped. For all I know you could be right down the street. I’ve mostly let you go. This city seems so unlike you, yet while I’ve kept moving, you’ve stayed. Perhaps you found what I’ve been looking for. Perhaps one day I’ll find it, too, someplace where there are fewer lights.

///

22 February 2021
Las Vegas, NV

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POEM: Hello sailor

Hello sailor

Don’t tell me how to lose someone.
I’ve earned this experience.
Some knitting, a watch, a photograph:
through these things I remember.
The blood rises to my cheeks, already red
from genes I no longer trust.
I’m like the ship of Theseus.
How much can I cast away & still be myself?
I try to identify my face in the bathroom mirror
at the grocery store. Those are my eyes,
there’s my crooked nose, that’s the gap between my teeth.
Every seven years all the cells in my body renew.
I set the boat on the water, push it out to sea.

/ / /

13 February 2021
Port Orford, OR

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POEM: redwoods

redwoods

as high as a football field is long
unlike the field they have no goal
a perfect example of practice

///

10 February 2021
Lady Bird Johnson Grove
Humboldt County, CA

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POEM: Words

Words

I said goodbye to twenty years’ worth of books,
picked up in this store or that;
the accumulation of wisdom and line breaks
I’d hoped would give me the words
to say goodbye to you.
But words fail me.
They fall short in the late afternoon
or in the small hours of the night,
as I sink into what might have been.
As the brave face I wear slips.
It’s then that I shift the van into gear & move
toward the horizon, hoping the next bend
makes sense of it all.
That miles can do what words cannot.

///

9 February 2021
Mendocino CA

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