Chained Tree

Chained Tree

wood so weathered
imagining isn't easy
how long ago that 
log was a tree cut down

in a mature condition
and wrapped in chain

we forge our own chains
with stupid desperation

we do not see it in our eyes
bloodshot and bleary

how could we understand
what we have never known

behind it all the river flows
careless and uncaring

what can a river feel
unconscious it seems

to have no life (knowing
nothing) but simply living

as rivers will (flooding
whenever neccessary)

Gray Metal

Gray Metal

looking into a field
we see gray metal

and can do nothing
about how it changes

the brown landscape

soon it will be green
because of gray metal

dust will be slaked
grass will grow tall

we will not be offended

technology moves in
creating efficiencies

as if the nile flooded
leaving prosperity

and much more food
how can we argue

with such bounty
when we are also fed

it becomes personal
our ethical  decision

Which One’s Peter

Which One's Peter

which one's peter
which one's paul

lifetimes ago a dry
husk of a man

gave a name 
to a mountain

another mountain
peers over its 
rocky shoulder

and was named
peter or paul

nobody remembers
which one is which

i wonder if it matters
to anybody after
all those years

to me it doesn't

which one's peter
which one's paul

Tangled Roots

Tangled Roots

ragged and twisted
tangled roots we try 

to notice as our days
slide slowly by

sagebrush seems to
always look this way

tangled roots may say
less than we might hear

our ears do not hear
what a plant may say

a living thing that
we are deaf to

something we may
never understand

but they are alive
although with tangled 
roots sometimes

ragged and twisted
tangled roots we try 

to notice as our days
slide slowly by

Stone Brothers

Stone Brothers

as if standing shoulder
to sandstone shoulder

against all comers
against gray skies

they stand together
like a wall of stone

brothers under the sky

in this desert land i wander
my tears are the only water

i cannot drink this misery
and wither in that salt

if i could have her back again
somehow keep her alive

for my own selfish reasons
i do not know what i would do

how can i be ready to let go
all those painful memories

the price of loving her
for oh so many years

Power Lines

Power Lines

under the ancient 
sandstone slide

an old corral sits empty
this is not the day

when cattle should
be loaded up on trucks

send away to slaughter

in our memories
we hear them bellow

in bovine distress and confusion

(what's going on)

that corral still stands
although it must have

seen better days (before
rot set in) rain ice snow

and blistering heat
under summer sunshine

i look up beyond the hill
and see the power lines

always something near
to spoil my pictures

Heart of a Lily

Heart of a Lily

      everything important
to a lily is pictured here

for us it may be the same 
   but we want to know

is there more meaning
      some special purpose

something to make us feel
   special and maybe loved

by something much bigger
   infinitely powerful maybe

   something to protect us
as we gambol mindlessly

      but when we see it 
(will we understand)

wonders in our universe
      beautiful sometimes

beyond imagination
   ancient beyond all

understanding sometimes
      though we might try

Sombre Ruin

Sombre Ruin

before the final blow

hammers beating
venerable shards to dust

they say an enormous
hole will be dug under

everything (for parking)

more than a hundred 
dusty years of living 

many small feet

running those floors
beautiful thunder

forgotten by a town
without respect

for its distant past

what can you say
about a place like that

before the final blow

hammers beating
venerable shards to dust

Green Things

Green Things

green things thrive
sometimes for longer

than we ever last
we can be grateful

life continuing on
growing as it must

remind us of our courage
persisting always

continue as we can
doing our best to be

what we need to be
life is a such puzzle

green things never
seem to think about it

they just carry on
absorbing moisture

from the rich earth
sucking it up to leaves

as green as leaves get
carrying on (as leaves do)

something i can learn

Dreaming Rose

Dreaming Rose

serene and so silent
elegant in springtime

surprising how much
difference it makes

hot tears in my eyes (now
months ago she died)

so many good years
(when I look) she's gone

i look and look again
she's gone forever

walking by a river
before the freshet rush 

roar and rumble
of water tumbling
over rushing water

we all look for eagles
(distraction from 
my thinking)

nesting there beside
a wild rising torrent

tmpressive flyers (we 
watch them fly with