Friday, March 27, 2015

Asleep

The old caldera slowly swells, fist
Beneath our feet. The rim is several dozen
Unstable miles across, and so we missed
This rise beneath us with eyes that have frozen

On dark, blue steaming pools that drain to stream
Through washes bright in orange and peach and yellows,
Bacteria resisting heat all team
Near geysers spraying up from deep hot bellows

That feel the lake the rising old caldera
Now pushes over into pine trees growing
Along the southern bank. In what new era
Will we expect the lava to start flowing?

We walk across the steaming world of heat,
Ignoring danger rising at our feet.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A New Life by the Bay

The broad bay window shows the sea
A blue arc bending in toward the house,
The white caps spray, deep water cool, arouse
A blue and white-streaked sky for you and me.

The light shines through the wide, reflecting glass,
And brightens blue berries beyond the bay
Window. Among asparagus fern spray,
Contrasting red-bright berries hide. Alas,

We cannot know what all is found around
The bay that bends away, now arcing out
Toward the open sea to sweep our doubt
Out with the tide, revealing the new ground

We've chosen nose to build this new-made life
Upon, with this new house, husband and wife.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Treestomp

Trees travel through these woods -- you see their tracks
And trailing cedar trunks hold growing rings
Of memories remaining light as fog
That creeps through streets, around the buildings' stones.
All rise, obscure the sky, the sun, the clouds,
The stars, the birds, the bats, the planes that fly
From port to port as some release small men
In parachutes who then drift down to caves
All full of calcium formations, cracking
Fantastic rising ceilings with their centered
Hot crystal chandeliers as clear as seas
Surrounding Caribbeans full of leaves
That fell from trees that marched into the water,
The fountains full of foam fragmented from
And into liquid crystal prism rainbows
That left their trunk tracks in soft sand they shaped
To glass-blown bubbles bursting into bright
Chaotic fireworks displays of trinkets
From places far away, on boats that sail
In, bringing branches from the distant West
To plant the places where the trees are gone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Malthusian Butt Fleas Secrete Liverworts Wandering On Stones In Firefly Bellies Until Volcanoes Sniff Eyelashes

As almost all arranged
Big beetles brag bright balloons belatedly
Carrying crawfish candid castles
Daintily down dreary doughnut droughts
Eventually evening everything elastic
For fierce frogs forgetting
Great ghastly gains given Gorky
His hero's hell however he
Is in it if it is
Just jeering jello jumping jellybeans
Kindly killing Kafka
Letting little legs lightly lift low
Measures more mightily must man move
Night near nothing
Opening our other optical ostriches
Perhaps privately picking powerful pears
Quietly quaking quaintly queer
Right rain really roves round rectangles
Sounding still serious smelling snake sewers
Telling tight tails terrible tales together
Until unguloid udders
Vary vermouth vacuums
Where wandering wonderwalls were working worth white worms
Xylophones xerox sylem
Yet yellow yetis yearn yonder
Zanzibar zaqqum zoos.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Red and Blue Verisimilitude

Sitting surreptitiously sans sound
We lit the lit the longest ledger loud and lingered,
Letting the little lemming see around the sound
That severed sacks of high hairs harrowing both here
And there and up, around and down
Through sound to get through these new blue
Criteria that seek verisimilitude.

"I wonder where the walnut walked?"
Wondered Wally, walking wearily
From fierce sleep, sneezing into the bowl of red jello
Hanging from the ceiling. Red, red,
Everywhere red, red casting
Its light, its sound, its life
Through men and women, making women unfil
Into life, their petals passing past each other. Love.
Love. Lust. Kissing, caressing her,
Such soft and supple skin all drenched in red, red light,
That makes her draw away.

You want to love, to love love, not no!
No touches. Touches tingle, tantalize and tug
On tortuous tendrils of feeling forward, focused
Fast on the ledger, letting love linger there,
If nowhere.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Creator of the Cult

You take the sacred raw material
Of poetry and find their deepest roots
And make of them genealogical
High-reaching branches tipped with greenest shoots.

You make their meanings new from oldest source,
From context you create as you relate
Each sound to meaning -- its emergent course
Traced out and followed, finding its own fate.

Each phoneme flows in fractal forms you frame
To make new meaning blossom fruits to swell --
Your love of morphemes transformed to a game,
A ritual of love for all you spell.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Gigglesnort

Oh, what did the gigglesnort know?
And how did he reach his toe?
Yes, upward he came,
He's barely insane,
Thinks he is a rake or a hoe.

An elephondonder he'll be,
Ate from the posquato tree
'Til outward he'd roam
And go far from home
And see a sweet sister or three.

A storm -- from the cavern it came,
But the gigglesnort slightly was lame,
So he had to choose
The umbersol's use --
If over his head, or a cane.

His sister was a flapping flitter
Wet, transparent, and all quite atwitter
She seemed a bit sappy
But very galappy
Perched high on her branch on her sitter.

The gigglesnort satalked long with her
And covered her with mallow fur
Then he said he'd attend,
Declared he was her friend
Then said that he'd have to defer.

The gigglesnort let out a laugh
Then found himself cleanly in half
Then whipping his claws
And licking his jaws
He called out for all of his staff.

The gigglesnort, with them he stood,
The Biznel and the peckerwood,
But the blue bilderclaw
Just couldn't recall
Whether on hand or his feet that he stood.

I wonder whatever we'll do!
Asked the biznel and all of his crew
Around they all walked
And blatheringly talked
'Til everything shistened with dew.

In three days they had to decide
If soon they scrietly would hide
The googalypus down
In a tree of renown
 And claim they knew not where he'd flied.

Then they all looked around and they turned
And to their surprise they had learned
That in the days' time
With the sound of a mime
Both the gigglesnort and flitter had burned.

They sifted carlowly the ashes
But soon and away their hope dashes
For the gigglesnort's tooth
And the flitter's farnooth
Were laying in some of the lashes.

Around the dark ashes aloud
A singular came from the crowd
Then a burst of flame
Engulfed all the same
And the gigglesnort and flitter came 'round.

Where've you been? asked the peckerwood crew
But the siblings just smiled at the view --
So they went, holding hands,
Vanished into the sands
Each sharing a bright purple shoe.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Democracy

He knew the way they acted was now show --
He knew they were his friends. They had said so.
He let them shackle him onto the boat --
He knew he could not know what they could know.

They pushed him out into the stream to float
In slowly spinning swirls. He had no coat
To keep off rain; he only had a stick
And satisfaction he had had a vote.

To stay unstuck the stick would do the trick --
To scare off snakes he'd give the stick a flick
Upon the water surface, and the splash
Would quench his thirst with every drop he'd lick.

So he was thankful for the stick -- he'd dash,
He knew against the rocks without it, crash
Against the shore. And so he thanked his friends
For it and giving him his tiny cache.

That cache of food on which he now depends
Will last for weeks, but only if he lends
Most to his future self -- he has to trust
His present hungry self for what he sends.

His friends made no provisions for his lust
Or how he would wash off his grease and dust --
They only took care of what they foresaw
And did not care for everything they must.

The water, wind would make his skin turn raw.
The sun would burn him, but he saw no flaw
In his friends' plan to get him to the sea.
Instead, he smiled when he heard the crow caw.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Architecture

This cathedral I thrust up from liquid
Fire, foundation formed of flames. An absent
Ground of revery raise in reverence the eyes
Up the stone stairs that strain to the ceiling
Arching into the air to beams
Unfinished, fanning from feathery trees branching,
Leafing into the light, the luring sky.

We trace no trees' shapes traveling up
As acolytes or Arthurs in this absent forest --
The shade shelters even shodden feet
To keep them cool. I kick a loose stone
Among the many May apple blossoms,
Which wink their white petals warily as I pass.
A great, green, growing post
Holds up heave in halves or as one,
As cathedrals for crickets and caterpillars to worship the dew.

Beams have burned away to bare this spiral
Staircase standing in strength before me --
I rise, racing the rapid flames
This cathedral was thrust up from stones
The forest flumg before me across
This pitted path I past perceived was mine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cliff Dwellers

The searing sun shines, bronzing the bare breasts
Of women walking warily, grass skirts
Shift, swaying on their hips and showing thighs
With every forward step. The cliff face falls
Off to their left and rises to their right --
They do not walk with fright or lonely sighs.
The stone encloses the cliff's weathered faces
To form the family homes that face each other
Across the canyon. Mother, brother, all
Can face each other, read the petroglyphs
That spell out each dark spirit-loving space
So each can trace each other, spirit mother
Protecting corn crops, pine nuts, the rare fruit
Available in this dry desert if
You want to work to leave a legacy
That lasts in this bright echoing cliff aerie
Now ghostly silent. Serpents, lizards lurk
Here now, but nothing else. I walk along
Where pinon farmers played and prayed and failed
To change with their environment. the sun-
bronzed breasts are gone -- the guests who visit here
Are covered up despite the heat. Where have
These people gone? We do not know. But if
We see here what they've done, I'm certain that
With work we'll learn how we can wax and grow.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Yosemite

This land, it must be painted, it
Cannot be captured in a poem. How
Can anyone bring forth the wit
To describe mountains which could make you bow?
Yosemite
Could set you free,
Sequoias rising to the sky
Far closer than the spreading trunks should dare
Allow each other. Cones reply
To fires that char the trunks, the forest bare
To let the flowers
In hidden bowers
And mountain meadows bloom
In yellow, red, and blue and pink
While over them gray mountains loom,
Enthralling minds so they can't think,
All filled with revelry
And colors every
Enduring shade and hue and texture, shape.
The water runs in rivers, streams
And lakes reflecting deepest blue, landscape
We thought emerged just in our dreams.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Aeneas' Path

I sat, filled with Dido's grief, curled up
On my bed in darkness. I was crying,
A transient state, as my desire
For life was stronger than the Carthage queen's.
The source of such a love, such tragedy,
Had to be destroyed before an empire
Could be born, so a civilization
Could take the path it took toward strength, power,
Reason and pride. Could I find these? I search
For this strength of Rome, to overcome my
Deep Carthaginian pain- and grief-filled rage.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

For Sappho, My Muse

The Muses have been banished from the city --
So I revolt and call on them to return
And bring the music back so we can rise up
And begin to dance.

Amaterasu, the sun, hides in her cave
And puts the world in a most deadly darkness
Until Ame-no-uzume comes to her
And beings to dance.

Even poor Persephone in her mourning
Was brought back to life and made to smile at last
When Baubo came forward with such sexy moves
And began to dance.

I have been brought back to life and the bright sun
Shines again upon my face now that I see
My art and prose and poetry have music
And begin to dance.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On the Spirit of the French Revolution

The Revolution must succeed
So from these chains we'll all be freed
And virtue lives in every deed
And wisdom has its place

We'll bomb them all into submission
Cut out the tongue of hard derision
Always approve every decision
So all will win the race

The blood of all our foes will flow
And all of future man will know
The heat by which our glories glow
With every bloodied face

We'll kill each one who disagrees
Ignoring all their desperate pleas
We'll make the rest live on their knees
Change burlap for fine lace

You will fit into our machine
Or else our food will make you lean
We'll strap you to a magazine
You'll die without a trace

The Revolution must succeed
Into these chains we'll all be freed
While virtue dies with every deed
And wisdom has no place

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Solid Ground

This isn't where I'm meant to be --
A van stuck in the mud the pouring rain
Transformed the soil so suddenly --
Why am I mired? from fear? or am I vain?

I have to get to you, the land,
The rock on which I've built by life and home --
I need your ground on which I stand --
I'm thankful that I do not roam.

But mud is never solid ground
And being stuck and sinking is not safe --
A crowd does not mean that you're found,
And healthy beauty cannot be a waif.

Provide the ground for me I need
For traction so I can reach hope's bright seed.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Society

Embodied minds in interactions made
Environments much more complex, that drove
Those brains to more complexity, to braid
A more complex environment, which wove
Those neurons tighter still so that we'd grow
In wisdom, beauty, love and what we know.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Persimmon

A tall persimmon tree spread its orange fruit
In sick-sweet droppings beside the white house
Where I was eight. It never once occurred
To me that I could eat the mushy fruit
That lay upon the ground -- they were sweet meals
For butterflies -- giant red-spotted purples
That flocked in numbers as dense as the fruit.
This old persimmon gave the only shade
Nobody ever wanted -- orange fruit stuck
In shoes and toes. The smell of rotting fruit
Replaced the air. Black butterflies few up
If we would come too close. The smell and mess
Made mother hate the old persimmon tree.
I loved it for the butterflies it drew.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bell

The sky is a mouse, long-
Haired, allergic to itself. It finds
Frozen to its fur fragments
of thoughts connecting everyone instantaneously.
A sneeze rustles my hair, twisting
Leaves and plastic bags up, startling
The wise grackles hopping
From sidewalk to chair, seat to arm.
Stars are hidden by facing star
Hidden by gray mouse fur.
I know what happens to the stars
Hidden by gray mouse fur.
I know what happens to the stars,
Thoughts connected faster than the light the stars emit,
Connected too to the light, connected
To the star. Thoughts scurry
Through the neural walls and halls, paths
Rarely disrupted by rare events
That send sparks scampering to other routes
That bring my eyes to see the sky
A long-haired mouse, thoughts frozen to fur.
The grackles watch and wonder.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Biker's Song

We love our motorcycles and tattooed
Bisexual women, multicolored hair
And tongue rings, deep brown eyes that take us in,
Bright green eyes like murky pools in sunlight,
Thick legs that fill up leather mini skirts
And black thigh-highs, no underwear, and tight
Thin blouses holding heavy breasts that feel
The wind that whirls around them. Everything's
Exposed out in the motorcycle wind
Except their hair tucked under heavy helmets
That hinder vision. Fine, since we don't want
Too much exposed, no matter what they wear.
We like them dressed like that, are jealous all
The same. No one can look but us. We ride
Our bikes with arms and legs around our waists.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Hill Country

Prickly pears grow like grass
Beneath acacia trees
On yellow rocky hills
Throughout central Texas.
They're fence off from the road.
No cows or horses graze
Anywhere on these hills.
Who is afraid the green
Prickly pears will escape
And stampede passing cars?
Or get flattened by them
Like an armadillo
Crossing the road at night?

Monday, March 2, 2015

On Poetics

Write until you're finished telling us of trees
And wolves and great-grandfathers.
Find a focus, center on all you find important
(Not politics)
Like trees and grass and flower fields
With mostly goldenrods
And bumblebee moths (they do so look
Like bumblebees with backsides much too wide)
Which flit on transparent wings
(More common on butterflies and moths
That most would think) into some newly noticed flowers,
Light lavender tubes hummingbirds miss,
Too interested, as they are, in shades of red.

I see the sun.
It, too, is often red.
But hummingbirds aren't Icarus --
They won't venture close.

Would anyone notice if they did?

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Rainbow People

He's drunk at nine that morning -- it's nothing new --
He's been drunk since 1970, twenty years
And homeless since, a life he chooses here
Among his friends, hippies
On a religious quest, shamamism
Intertwined into their drinking.
Brother -- the name they know him by --
Says they do it to show the world that this
Is how we're not to live.
He says this sitting in his kitchen,
Blue tarp held up by tree branches,
A fire pit in the center, boiling water.
Twice as many here are in their twenties
Escaping . . . what?
Cities, civilization. Children
Blond and dirt-streaked, run and play.
Women with long hair, goateed men --
Half have dusty dreadlocks. Spaghetti
Cooks over a fire. Guitars and Beatles songs,
Standing up to every stereotype
As they spend the winter just off New York Road
Among the pines of Mississippi.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Through Arizona

Mountains rising, drifting snow
Falling on the trees in Arizona.
We don't see tarantulas
Walk in giant herds across the barren
Ground. My uncle gave me one
For a friend. The friendly lizards, Gila
Monsters, beady skin in pink,
Mottled black, are sitting, poised for biting
With their poison teeth. They're gone.
Gone, too, in the sun-soaked snow, the flowers
Waited on the cacti. All
Arizona seemed so lost and empty.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Transformation

When I was a boy I walked in fields
And woods behind my house,
Enjoying the solitude of the trees.
I would lie and watch
The water bugs, larvae, tiny tadpoles
Swim in streams and pools.
Jewel weeds with orange- and yellow-spotted
Cornucopia flowers hanging down
From thin stems under leaves on plants
Spread in large patches, crowding out
The poison ivy. May apples, thick
Stems with umbrella leaves,
Some split to allow a simple white flower
That swells to a yellow fruit --
More like a lemon than an apple --
But who'd enjoy the sound
Of May lemon over May apple
Or even want to try a taste?
The rest of the woods was dead leaves
Or tiny trees trying
To catch up with their parents.

Then one year, the farmer
Who owned the woods behind my house
Cleared the tiny trees and brush,
Leaving only open space
Between the taller trees.
I was angry when I saw it.

Then, that summer, I took a walk.
The streams, the jewel weed, the May apples --
All were gone.
But in the open space,
With all the extra light,
Bright blue lobelias and hot pink bearded orchids
Spread throughout the woods.
One set of beauty could not help
But soon replace the other.

A rarer beauty had taken over.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mother's Records

My mother taught me how to live
By standing on a stepladder
In the hall closet
Hiding her vinyl records
As I handed them up to her.
"Don't tell your father," she said
As she covered her records with a blanket
"We'll bring them back out
When your father gets over this latest fad."
We knew
When our church stopped preaching hard
Against all rock-n-roll that he'd forget
And mom could then retrieve
Her records. Elvis would
Fill up the air again.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Winter Centerpiece



The moon is a bowl full of baby’s breath,
The tiniest sprays of pale white.
It sits on a shelf of the winter-bare trees
While shedding the barest of light.

The clouds move in, misty and cold, a haze,
They lead in the King of the North –
They hearken the winter, the ice and the snow
And call for warm coats to come forth.

The chill in the air is a spur to sight –
My mind is now crystallized, sharp.
The flowers are blooming across the night sky,
The darkness brought forth its faint harp.

I melt these distinctions that we insist
Upon, and the sky and the cold
Engrave on the mind all the changes I see –
The flowers and bowls that unfold.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Where's Momma Gonna Go Tonight?

The bar is closed and she's alone again
No one took her home tonight
I haven't seen her since I was ten
Where's momma gonna go tonight?

When momma left she never said a word
I never hear ma and papa fight.
It seems she took off just like a bird --
Where's momma gonna go tonight?

CHORUS:
When I was a boy momma left me behind
When I was a boy my daddy he declined
To ever say why my momma took off on me --
I reckon my momma just thought to be free.

I'll slow down -- should I stop my truck?
Will momma know that it is me?
She looks real sad, down on her luck --
Just a decade's gone, but she looks three.

CHORUS

A Caddy pulls up, my momma leans down
Where's she gonna go tonight?
I wonder: does she live in this town?
Where's momma gonna go tonight?

She gets in and rides off, 'til she's outta my sight
Oh where's momma gonna go tonight?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Intense World

I cannot live an anesthetic life --
I feel my senses much too much, My skin
At every touch crawls with tarantula
Feet. In my ears is a deafening din
With every noise reverberating time.
I savor food and drink -- each taste not light,
But bright as the sun high above the cave
The philosopher rises from. Each bright
Color refreshes vision to a clear
Delight in nature as in art. My nose
Can open subtle, dark, and delicate
Scents. And with you each of my senses grows
Into a synesthesia too intense --
I need you today and today, perhaps
Today again. I feel a much, such deeper,
Intense feeling -- each puff of wind, it slaps
Me, ripples on my skin. Imagination,
My mind (it's body too), both only add
To all I feel and all I feel and sense --
A life that's unprotected, driven mad.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cranes' Wisdom

Green plains that stretch and tough embracing hills
Set softly on a sunset sky display
The marsh below where I  observe a pair
A courtship pair of dancing cranes
Their feathers high I look away my eye
That entertains a tear of envy yes
A tear of envy at a pair of birds
Who know far more than I who feel far more
Than I will ever feel about this earth
And marsh they drop their heads I drop my head
But I can't lift again like them I hurt
I'm broken oh what could or should I do
Then suddenly I realize these birds
Will understand more than I ever will

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Friends and Lovers

Alone, each life walked through the fire
Each knew but knew not of the other
Each intertwined with others' lives
Their hearts knew nothing of desire
Each settled out of loneliness
But as each wandered through the fire
Each blindly ran into the other
Then both their eyes they filled with wonder
And wondered how they'd missed the other
Each saw with opened hearts and eyes
Like age-old friends in new-found light
And letting go grabbed to each other
Then both flew from the flames together
To soar on love's wings ever higher

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sea Birds

Seabirds singing, sailing over waves,
Wandering where wings and winds take them,
White wings all too often.
Gulls and terns, white against the sky,
White against the waves.
Do they hide in the sky in their white wings
From fierce fish,
Sharks' sharp teeth snatching them from the sky?
Is this really a fear for the albatross
Soaring over open oceans,
Delicately dipping down for fish and squids
Swimming near the surface?
And what of brown skuas or black,
Bright-beaked puffins?
Puffins perched on northern rocks, peering out,
Watching eider ducks swim between waves
Appear
Disappear, wondering
Where they went, sometimes vanishing
Completely beneath the waves,
Searching for fish.
Eiders, too, are white
With but a bit more color
On their beaks and heads.
They must have less to hide
Than the gulls soaring overhead,
Though the eiders sit in silence
While the gulls gab incessantly.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sonnets of Autumn and Spring

1. Autumn

I spent the Summer writing sonnets, rhyme
Replacing her who never loved, then left.
My heartbeat is now rhythms keeping time
To cover the fact that it's lost by theft.

So now I'm free when freedom was the last
Of my desires. And so I take on form,
A prison that, a traitor, set the mast
With sail and set me free in rhythm's storm.

The sting of losing her turned to a need
For art, for beauty to fill up the void,
The rhyme and rhythms trying now to feed
The rhythms she and I had once enjoyed.

But where will all my lovely poems go
When love's replaced this seed, my Summer's woe?

2. Spring

It's Spring and I'm in love and she loves me --
I love and know I never loved before.
And look -- my rhymes and rhythms still are free
To let me key imagination's door.

The bounds of love, of her true love, expose
The workings that unleash the best that I
Can do or be. With everything I chose,
 I came to her, her love, and learned to fly.

But can she understand that I must love
My pain, my past, the things that brought me here
And shaped me so that I could fit her glove,
That to know her I must know ancient fear?

I've been to where the poem flowers bloom --
Now let me grow them in your loving womb.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Rock

Tapdancing bumblebees
Flitting, flying, fourishing
Far from the fantastic
Mediocre sky.
Diving deep into the sea
To ski the mountains'
Flowing pillow lava
Erupting down into the rocky caves.
Stone temples rising
Triumphantly crumbling
Out of sight,
Down the cliffs,
Whistling over rocks
that break into twos and threes and fours.
No longer seen,
Dropping headlong before the fall.
Black and white reality
Lying in strength before, beyond, beside,
Tangibly intangible.
Shining smirking crossing faces
That cannot be discerned,
Wheezing helpessly
As they travel to the moon.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Waves

Waves -- we all are spacetime waves,
Complex waves of information --
We speak our culture into existence
And speak each child into humanity.
We are negentropic skies.
Waves of sound, waves of light,
Waves of chemicals fill the world
And inform it, forming it.
Bees see ultraviolet landing strips
On the flowers they feed on
To make the honey we feast on
At our festivals of life. We
See only white daisies.
They decorate our hair and fields
In waves of white and yellow light.
Waves of chemicals fill our nostrils --
The sweet smell brings us pleasure-waves,
Attracts us as we are repulsed
With the threat of stinging bees.
The sweet complexity of choice waves
Us on or away, and home.
The sun shines in the sky,
The stars sparkle clear night skies,
And particle-waves observe each other
And us into material existence --
As we inform our children into
Human levels of complexity, and keep
The universe growing and emerging.
We stand in the doorway and wave --
We wave "hello," "goodbye."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Trinity River

Your father is in a Red River bluff,
You slowly flow across the southern plain
To father cities -- forests not enough.

You are the son of this dry land, you reign
To give us Dallas and Fort Worth, the son
Of your slow flow, your urbanizing vein.

Your spirit reigns -- see all that we have done
To bring you back to life -- you are the stuff
Of Calatrava's dreams -- you'll make us one.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Time Unfolding

The universe unfolds in petals, flower
Of life encircling in golden means
And fractal leaves -- a universe of power
Laws which self-organize to all life's genes.

The future speaks in metaphors to those
With minds fine-tuned to listen to its voice.
And with that voice a handful truly grows
To move the world toward a better choice.

Across and through all time and space within,
Without, and linking everything in rhyme
And rhythm, poets bring the present din
The quiet joy that's found in complex time.

The past and future sing to bring to me
An insight to the present, makes it free.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Prophet in the Kitchen

The man who dreamed the dream of martyrdom
Lived in a time when nothing mattered much
And life bombarded you 'til you went numb.
He lived in myth, a hero out of touch.

His friends would laugh as he read myths of men
Who gave their lives, their everything for Christ --
He's certain of his end, that he'd have been
A martyr who refused to be enticed

By promises of wealth and power, sure
That he'd be true to Christ up to the end --
Pull out his nails and salt them -- he'd be pure
And die -- he'd never lose his savior, bend.

He knew the communists would never break
Him when he faced them in his fairytales
He told himself. He swore he'd not forsake
His friends or justice for true evil's veils.

His friends laughed as he washed the dishes at
The restaurant -- the story that he told
Was all the universities had spat
On his ideas because they were too bold.

They laughed because they thought him arrogant --
But little did they know the myth was true,
No more than he, the truth far less distant
Than either new, as myth is truth askew.

The people nodded but would not believe
His tortured tales of tragic martyrdom
As he would slowly roll up his white sleeve
To wash, and scrape off hard food with his thumb.

No one believed that they could ever live
In times that mean so much that lives could be
So meaningful that anyone could give
Their lives -- such times were gone, and thankfully.

But he knew better. He would be prepared.
He'd take a stand, do what no one had dared --
The villain would show up one day, he knew,
And then he'd stand for what was Good and True.

No one believed him, so nobody cared
About his life he lived so lyrically.
They lived in more prosaic times and dared
To challenge nothing big, historically.

Or so his laughing friends, co-workers hoped --
Such certainty of boredom's how they coped.
They thought it best that he should be dismissed
Than dare accept the truth, that he'd been kissed

By prophesy's true, blinding, too-bright sight --
Yes, best dismiss him as insane, a fright,
And pull the shades on despotism's creep --
But which one's dreaming, and which one's asleep?

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Crocodile Lover

"Melina's such a girly-girl,"
Her grandfather says. She's his dear pearl
Who loves to dress in dresses, wear
"Glass slippers," Jewelry, dress with flair.

Her mom and dad, though, know that she
Is also much more secretly
A crocodile-lover too --
Though alligators also do.

She has a tiny plastic one
She uses to attack for fun
the bellies of her parents' friends --
With it so many met their ends.

She had an alligator book,
And when her parents one day took
Her down to the aquarium
She hopes that she would soon see some.

It was far better than she thought
That it could be, for when they sought
The crocodiles, they were told
That there were babies to behold.

She saw the babies in a tank,
She looked up to her parents. "Thank
You, mom and dad," she said and ran
Up to the tank, a happy fan.

"I love the little chomp-chomps, dad!"
And as they left she said she had
To have a crocodile of
Her own that she could hug and love.

Her parents told her uncle this
And the next day Melina's bliss
Was overwhelming when hs brought
A pillow crocodile he'd bought.

She loved to sleep with her new friend
And slept well knowing he'd defend
Her from bad monsters and bad dreams --
For her he gave up swamps and streams.

And when they took her to the zoo
She said the crocodile's blue
Because he had not seen her yet,
But he'd be happy once they'd met.

She posed and made her parents take
Her picture sitting with the lake
And slowly floating crocodile.
She said, "You see, I made him smile!"

But when Melina's father tells
His dad how her heart always swells
When she sees alligators, he
Just cannot see how that could be.

"Melina's such a girly-girl,"
Her grandpa says. He sees her curl
And princess dress and happy smiles.
"There's no way she loves crocodiles."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

To the True Cultural Conservatives

Life interferes my thoughts. So what? Shall I
Now theorize in strange Cloudcuckoolands,
Dance in a wicker basket in the clouds,
Condemn this life because of its demands?

I have to eat, and so did every man --
There is no need to whine about my lot
Because the world won't bow before my feet
And Cornish hens don't fly to my mouth, hot.

This time of wealth allows us luxuries,
Like poor men writing books and making art
Like wealthy men once did in times of kings,
When girls could choose a nun, or wife, or tart.

Romantics look back on that time and sigh --
Naive, they think those better times for those
Who live the life of mind, though they would be
Then whores or thieves or planters of wheat rows.

Their backs would ache, their twenty children scream --
At least, the five who would survive to die
An early death of hunger, overwork,
White pus from blackened wounds, too weak to cry.

The worst you've seen of life was when you chose
A Master's in a field without a chance
Of work -- and then you blame the life-wise for
The fact that, running, you fell on your lance.

A coward whines that his mistakes are caused
By others who know nothing that he's done --
A person's brave when they live with each choice
They made -- if poor, this person still has won.

The only thing that I regret is that
I'm sensitive to idiots that flee
From life, responsibility, and so
Produce from me didactic poetry.

The spirit of the times thus speaks through me,
As filtered through my readings and my life --
I cannot help the lines that spill from both --
Though better would be love songs for my wife.

Yes, better men would spring from love by lines
they read of how my zoftig love, in bed,
Is beautiful by moonlight as she sleeps
Than reading about intellects of lead.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Obligations

Where do my obligations lie?
My family must come first, and then my work --
I hope my actions don't deny
This order, or I show myself a jerk

Who selfishly pursues his art
At the expense of children and my wife --
A Wallace Stevens does his part;
Picasso thought of art as wife and life.

But can I spend life in a bank?
I cannot be Picasso any more
Than I can work in some dark, dank
And sterile office, shut behind a door.

I love my obligations, they're
My life and source of inspirations in
The things I do. My soul's laid bare
By all my loves, my wife, created kin.

How do I reconcile the things
I love, that makes me want to breathe and live?
A singer lives for what he sings --
A husband lives for everything he'll give

His wife -- a father, for his kids.
And what of me, a husband, father, man
Who must create, do what art bids,
Explain the world and always live God's plan?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Thankless Jobs

It must sound arrogant for me to say
That labor or a service job is such
A waste of time for me. A solid day
Of sweaty labor, products dripping such

That people's lives are much improved by it;
A room to spend the night in, groceries bought
From service works work and serve to knit
Society together. All that's bought

Is necessary for the life that you
And I enjoy -- I love those who would do
Such work and bring my life such ease. Subdue
Such thoughts that I disparage those who do

Such everyday heroic works. But I,
When I don't write a poem or a play,
When I don't write my essays, what can die
Are possibilities from my mind's play.

It's not a job that all can do, just like
Not all can run a business or can build
A house or skyscraper or dare to strike
Out on their own to see what they can build.

But it's a job that no one pays because
It's not as valued as its value is
And no one seems to know just what it does
And so I waste my time. such time that is

Not spent on creativity is lost
And no one seems to know just what it costs
When labor, service jobs lay down their frost
That kills my mental life, ignoring costs.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Loss

I have to work two part-time and one full
Time jobs to live. I haven't seen my wife,
I haven't seen my children now for days.
I sleep when they're awake and work when they're
Asleep. I do this all for them I do
Not see, much like a tithe to God I trust
Is there. And when I see my wife I see
What used to be a joke, excuse of each
And every daytime talk show cheater: "You
Are never home. You always work." She's true,
But sad and lost. My daughter won't let go
The hours that I see her. She is growing --
I missed it. Here I went to school so I
Could educate myself into a better
Life, more fulfilling job; instead I just
Have debt and colleagues who say what we do
Is valueless. They kill my life in their
Warm, tenured safety, arrogant to life.
It's death they love, and death they've given me,
For when their deaths all come the place they each
Once had will disappear with them. Why must
I struggle because beauty's hated, joy
Destroyed? What justice is there when I lose
My loves to keep them housed and clothed and fed?

Friday, January 30, 2015

My Love

I wish I had a fortune for my love --
I wish I had a flower for my love.

I wish I had the money so that I
Could spend each waking moment with my love.

I wish I had a farm of sheep and goats,
Alpacas, rabbits, chickens for my love.

I wish that I could fill our home with fresh-
Cut flowers full of fragrance for my love.

I wish that I could populate the world
With children I created with my love.

I wish to fill the world with Anna's songs --
I, Troy, will always sing of you, my love.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

O Karl Marx

O Karl Marx! O Karl Marx!
How stupid is your theory?
O Karl Marx! O Karl Marx!
Dealing with you gets weary!

I don't know who'd believe in you
When nothing that you said was true.

O Karl Marx! O Karl Marx!
Your hate of life's so dreary!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dragon of the Night

The moon's a half-closed dragon's eye. It stares
At me, surrounded by white scales all ringed
With palest red. The rest is hidden, bares
This one bright eye, I'm certain it is winged

As I am certain that it breathes this cloud
Surrounding it and spreading out the dark.
Perhaps he is the reason I'm allowed
These January shorts. He stares down, stark

Against the night, against the creeping cold
Caressing my new-shaven cheeks. I walk
A pace as brisk as this cool air. I'm bold
Before this dragon I now choose to stalk.

Orion aims, his arm drawn back. He'll hit
The target if he should let fly -- but I
Don't need his arrows -- they don't need to split
The scales. This victory he won't deny

Me on this night. I'll face the dragon down,
I'll tear him from the sky. This victory
Is mine alone. I'll take his flame and drown
It, make him bow his massive head to me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This Is For You

These purple crayon drawings I have made
I made for you. I made it just this year.
I made it so you know I love you. Grade
It on a curve. Please take it lest I fear

I've lost, I'll lose your love. This poem sings
Its song for you. I made it just for you.
Like flowers in the spring, I hope it brings
You happiness to know my love is true.

Forgive these faded old cliches. The same
Old words for love that's daily new when I
Look at or think or dream of you are lame.
I made this just for you. I'll always try

To do a little better. Do you see
The tree of orange and green that I have drawn
To make you smile? Happy now? Agree
To love this crayon picture of the dawn,

These words that try too hard to say. I look
Upon our daughter, with the gifts she makes
For me, and I have realized the book
Of poetry I want to write, it takes

The form of what my daughter does with each
Improving picture that she makes. I made
All this for you. For you I'll always reach
Up higher so I'll never be afraid.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cherubim

A golden eagle sit upon the fencepost --
It stares, it watches, following the car
That pulls into the truck stop. Gravel crunches
Beneath the tires. It is the first sound
These women heard besides the engine's whir
Since entering the West Virginia mountains.
Not even the bull grazing in the pasture.
Wants to disturb the silence. Car doors slam.
The women both get out, approach the truck
Stop door, starting at the ding! of the front
Door bell. A man looks up, a lion's mane
Of auburn hair cascading down his back.
He watches as the angels, children-faced,
Cross to the bar. He wonders what they ask,
Where they are going. Does he have a change
Of joining them? Informed, they leave, and one
Stops, pausing just outside the door to pluck
The trumpet flower lily near the door.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Guardians


Behold the army marching down the street –
They march in steady rhythm to the beat
Of drums and people cheering. Colored flags
Precede these warriors, proud as autumn stags.

Their leaders, politicians, lead the crowd
With rhythmic chants, a promise they’re endowed
With virtue, knowledge, wisdom – shepherds who
Will lead the people, give them what they’re due.

Police parade along the bulging edge
The crowd creates – a sniper’s on the ledge
To scope the crowd, a crowd who’d praise the man
If they’d known he was there, and praise the plan.

The President steps forth, the crowd goes wild –
Each man and woman feels themselves a child –
“These guardians before you will protect
You all, we members of the few, select.”

The crowd, they swore their love to men who made
Their path through loving power and who’d wade
Through bodies if they had to just to rule –
But votes are a more cost-effective tool.

So long as humans love strong leaders, force
To get their way, and lies they can endorse
Because they tell them to themselves, each hill
Will find a flock to bend to someone’s will.

And they’ll lead the parade, the army aft,
As politicians steer this human raft
Who trust that they’ll get everything they crave
While marching to their lime-lines self-dug grave.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lost Messengers

Where have all the angels gone? The messengers
Seem to speak no more to us -- and those who fell
Speak too much -- we hear their cries like Icarus
Falling to the sea. It's wingless angles' songs,
Keyless and atonal, belching dark gray ash,
Pyroclastic flows that gray the sea and sky,
Hide the sun away, the hope that we forget.
Flying high on wings, the other angels soar,
Clear away the ask, and bring a hopeful song.
They know judgment melts your wings, but love and joy
Grow them long and broad so updrafts of warm air
Carry those with wings in an effortless ring,
Spiral, helixing up through the fractal clouds.
These, the angels bringing life and hope, oh where
Have these angels gone? Our messengers, come
Back, we need to hear from you again, your wings
Lifting us into the skies, up from the mud
Sea and ask together mix in alchemy
Never giving gold. The gold bursts forth on peaks
Angel wings can read only on upward drafts --
Gold we need to prosper and invest to be
Fully human once again -- it's only wings,
Angel wings that can lift us, so we can see,
Hear and taste and smell and feel again like them,
Arists of ourselves again so we can gain
Wings we used to have and now can grow again.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

America in Autumn

1.

The Texas summer doesn't end in late
September. Mississippi steams into
The winter. White camellias bloom. The gate
Of winter opens at a later date.

If only we could hold off winter through
This land -- but hatred brings a frigid cold
And threatens all we think and love and do.
The problems are not them; it's always you.

The real news always lies beneath the fold,
And Hollywood proclaims the moral law,
And truth is truth when everyone is polled,
And money is not worth its weight in gold.

I traveled north, avoiding hatred's claw
To find hawks spread their wings and soar the sky
To make a prey of other birds and draw
Us to a leader, to our ancient flaw.

The hawks of hatred in this land deny
That they're the same as southern eagles which
Destroy and kill, believing their own lie
That they're benevolent. They watch us die.

I do not understand why I should hitch
A ride with either one. The lowly crow
Is cleverer by far, creates a niche
So all may live and grow, rise from the ditch.

When winter comes, the birds all head below
To lands they know, which comfort them. The heat
Is comforting, the sun plankets a glow
That tells us all we really want to know.

But justice does not separate, deleete
The differences or, lying, say they stand
With the oppressed but want to stay elite --
Thus virtue crashes wingless in defeat.

I do not want a world the same and bland,
Where seasons never come and every bird
Is of a feather, hawk and dove both land
Together on the feeder by command.

For far too long the best we get's absurd,
Defeathered chickens thrown up to be man.
No one believes in the truth of the word,
And sell as art a can that hold a turd.

Without our foundations in art we can
Not find our way out of deep poverty --
Our death is masked by a false feather fan.
When you make hatred, you don't have to ban.

We cannot soar without our liberty --
we cannot live a true life without fate --
We live by trimming branches off the tree
Of time, our lives -- we sing this to be free.

2.

I left my teaching job, disgusted at
Such arrogance and ignorance combined
With laziness, indiscipline. They're fat
And revel in disease, each one a brat.

I'd love to teach each one to be refined,
I'd love to cast off all their ignorance --
But that would mean they all would have to mind
And discipline will get you fired or fined.

Instead of having ego temperance,
Each thinks themselves a phoenix, each unique,
With every word a drop of gold, no sense
Has chance to charm a skull so dense.

Each one's a baby bird with open beak,
Complaining of the food that's brought to them --
They do not care for virtue, truth to seek
And crumble under each tiny critique.

Our students have a French disdain to hem
Their thoughts by generative, freeing rules,
Rejecting logic, knowledge, virtue, gem
Of beauty, making sense fall off its stem.

But what do we expect when ruled by fools
Like Richard Rorty, careless Stanley Fish,
The demagogue Paul Krugman with his tools
That change with who so rules -- they're mental ghouls.

This rampant anti-intellectualish
Elitist narcissism feathers out
Into the unformed mind, the empty dish
To destroy hope and every honest wish.

The state of education makes me doubt
The future will have more than cuckoos in
The nests, and vultures ruling them. This route
To foolish ignorance leaves no way out.

Perhaps I'm driven by the endorphin,
Perhaps I want to fly before I cry,
Perhaps I cannot stand to be worn thin,
Perhaps to leave right now would be a sin.

A sin? It is a sin to dare deny
The best and brightest knowledge so they'll grow,
To clip their wings so none of them can fly
So we won't have to hear the lowest sigh.

So I must leave -- to live, I have to go.
I cannot parrot ignorance and bear
A life of honor, virtue -- I must know
That I am more than fiery indigo.

I'm leaving teaching now because I care
And, caring's tearing feathers out of me
Until I'm singed and done. I do not dare
Remain -- I have to wander . . . anywhere.

I want to show the world's deep density
And show the world exactly where it's at --
But knowledge, wisdom brings complexity
And it's that beauty that will make us free.

3.

 My Asian friends all say this country's vast
And empty -- yes, but that's the freeway view --
The towns, the people have all been bypassed,
Ignored, on all of them long shadows cast.

The minor roads will show me what is new
To city-dusty eyes. A wide, wired land,
Endensified by satellites and through
Long cables, light where lonely birds once flew.

I walk away so I can take a stand
And trust that with my single flapping wing
I'll raise a hurricane, each windy band
Of ocean-clouds deep-churning up the sand.

I rent a storage space so everything
I own will have a place to stay. I pay
The next two years and hope the months will bring
The hope and wisdom that I need to sing.

I pay my last two months of rent. I'll stay
With who I can. Perhaps, when I return,
I'll find a mindless job without delay
And be a sandy ostrich each weekday.

I get into my Skylark and I turn
Onto the road. Escaping Dallas -- more,
Escaping all that I have learned to spurn --
I'll travel north. I must escape this urn.

I've shut and locked the ancient wooden door --
I have enough to grant me liberty --
I have no ties, no love that I adore,
Just visions of a syphilitic whore.

What choice have I with no prosperity?
With such a life relationships won't last.
I've made a choice of homeless poverty
In hopes that I will learn now to be free.

4.

The grackles rise into the Texas sky
In crashless patterns that emerge to show
That we can move together, unmoved by
Some master that will only make us die.

The scissor-tailed flycatchers show they know
With every ribbon-dance looped in the air
That life is really constant overflow,
That beauty is the life we need to grow.

The asphalt crumbles out before me, spare
Of paint and signs. Wood fences fence the grass
And stones and trees and fruiting prickley pear,
Perhaps to stop them wandering off somewhere.

I glance at birds and bushes as they pass --
To drive one contemplates but passing time --
A faster time than time spent fishing bass,
More timely than a universe of gas.

I slow my speed -- I won't commit the crime
Of blurring life with my blinders on,
Ignoring, ignorant that every clime
Has beauty in ts fullness, health and grime.

Distinct, distinguished, seen before it's gone --
That's what each subject wants, what each deserves --
To find the hidden shape of dabbled fawn,
To never treat a person as a pawn.

 The present comes in potholes, all my swerves
Avoiding them and rabbits darting out
Onto the road that only slowly curves,
Distracting me from all this culture's pervs.

Perverse! That's what this culture is! Don't doubt
The pornographic impulse to erase
The individual person and to route
All beauty out -- that's what it's all about.

We've damned from life all elegance and grace --
Resentment, hatred we have deified,
Destroying what is sacred everyplace
And mutilating beauty's every face.

I've left but, leaving, I still cannot hide
The reason that I left -- I bring along
The emptiness, the pain with which I cried --
But had I stayed, I surely would have died.

How can external things become so strong?
But what's external to a social ape?
External, internal -- they both belong
In tensions telling us what's right and wrong.

The sun shadows my car, a hidden shape
Beneath a cloudless noon. Bird shadows dart
Across the road. I'll take this concrete tape
To northern fields of corn and wheat and rape.

A town appears -- it's small and white, a part
Of all the gravel dust all cars encloud
As they turn in to town. A broken cart
Invites me to part next to it to start.

A restaurant, a place without a crowd --
It's small and local, promises of home.
I'm certain that the people here are proud --
When I walk in, I feel I'm not allowed.

Three men, a pair of women crack the tome
Of innocence as they all stare me down:
Well, who are you? We don't like those who roam
And wander, detached from the sandy loam.

I try to smile at them to face the frown
That links their faces int one. I wait,
A waitress frowns, the same as all the town,
And sits me down, attends me like a clown.

An educated Southerner, I hate
To hate -- I've learned to love the other and
Refused to let my kin be second-rate --
And now both are entwined to make my fate.

The waitress, older than her years and bland
In dress and walk and speech, asks what I'll take
To drink. To drink! My tongue is dry, thick sand.
"Y'all got some lemonade?" displays my brand.

The menu. Heat, the stares -- I want to break
Out in a sweat. My body's getting wet.
I breathe behind the menu, calm the quake:
I order up a burger, fries, and cake.

The menu gone, I've nowhere else to get
Away from all the hostile stares. I lean
Back in my chair. I look until I've met
Each eye. I won't leave here with that regret.

Regret, regret -- I will not live so mean
A life, but choose the golden mean, where strife
Enstrengthens me and makes me hard and lean,
Since weakness grows up in a world too clean.

I get my food and ketchup, fork and knife
And drink, and then I'm on my paltry feast.
The hamburger is not exactly rife
With flavor, glutamate, thus lacking life.

I pay and leave, illusions now decreased
By having met the people on the earth
They never shared with me. Were I deceased
Not one would care about it in the least.

Among the people of this town my worth
Is less than the old homeless dogs that flee
Each passing car and give each man a berth --
I'm glad to leave this town that's lacking mirth.

I almost leave this town in ecstasy --
And as I leave I hear a grackle cry --
Not lack of money, but souls' poverty
Is what will grind us down so we're not free.

5.

I need to challenge my utopia --
Romantic nothing, nowhere, never -- where
Can fair truth really be? Its formula
Remains unknown to all the media.

The mother grizzly is not teddy bear,
The bobcat is no fuzzy kitty cat,
And keeping people different by a hair
Will never make a world that's good and fair.

Faux-generous treat all the world as flat
But cannot stand the people that they give
So many others' money to. Each brat
Just calls them (privately) all stupid, fat.

The cuckoo parasites so it can live
And fools the working birds to raise its young.
The cuckoo takes and takes, will never give --
And if you do not give, you get the shiv.

The people that I met, they work the dung
Into the earth to grow the food we eat --
But does that make them good, their being hung
By all elitists on the lowest rung?

The same race, still I felt I had to beat
The sun if I were to be safe. The day
Protected me, I know. I won't repeat
This sad mistake -- I will admit defeat.

Yes, my perception's a mistake -- the clay
That penetrates their feet has driven me
To understand that only those who pray
Together love together, do not stray.

I had to learn that reciprocity
Among the ones we love bring us to a
Place where we first had lived within the tree
Where we evolved, and came down to be free.

6.

How did I end up here, on 40? West
At almost 80. Vultures circling
Are all the life I see. A lonely breast
Of land slow-rises high above the rest.

I could not hear if anything should sing
With all this roaring wind that swirls my head
Into a dizziness that eddies bring,
And order that I am now coveting.

I drive along this road with growing dread
That I made a mistake in leaving home --
I drive until the sun before me's red
And only stop when I find evening's bread.

I spend the night alone again, the foam
That holds my head the only lap to lay
Down on. I reflect on the tall lamp's chrome:
The solitary wanderer should roam.

I'm on the road again at break of day --
Before the break, when Venus rises high --
I must drive West, drive West without delay --
Delayed for what, I really cannot say.

I feel an itch that's creeping up my thigh --
But I have chosen this, a life alone --
So love and lust I must myself deny --
Confirmed with a coyote's lonesome cry.

I think I must get off this road -- I groan
At all of these thoughts -- God, they're so cliched.
But there's no place in this landscape of stone
For me to stop and write and, thus, atone.

I find a side road -- for too long I've strayed
By being on the highway with the crowd --
But I'm the only one I have betrayed
Because my time alone has been delayed.

And there upon the side road, my head bowed,
I wondered where my life was going to go --
There's no one, friend or family, I'd endowed
With knowledge of my goals. None I'd allowed.

I bypassed cows and horses, sheep, a crow.
I bypassed horses, ranches, fields and farms
I bypassed all I ever chose to know --
And then I saw a sign for Mexico.

I wondered about all its modest charms --
I wondered if the place was right for me --
But nothing set off my call-off alarms
And so I drove and stiffened up my arms.

I had a feeling I would find a sea
Of flowers waiting there and all life's harms
Would vanish. I will find a sprawling tree
And under it I finally will be free.