Sunday, March 08, 2020

Brief Poems: Cattle on a Hill

Podcast: click here.

OAK TREES


They cling to their dry crackly hopes and misplaced modesty:
Leaves that will not fall.

They endeavor to create an illusion of solidity and sempiternal life
Yet they simply transmit a message of never letting go.

Whether that is good or bad
I will never know.


Norman, Oklahoma
March 7, 2020

************************
CATTLE ON A HILL


They are eating the tough dry grass of winter.
It fills their mouths but perhaps not their minds
except to remind them what it does not have:
stick-to-the-ribs grains and blossoming flowers.

And on a beige carpet
Jackson Pollock working with weeds, not paint:
dribbles of cocklebur, butterfly milkweed, hoary alyssum
and a poke sallet banner bending in the wind --
Hail, Spring!

The greening of the fields
makes my heart beat fast with joy
but I must remember –
the first greens are always the most deadly.


March 6, 2020
Norman, OK

******************
JAPANESE PEARS 


The first few days of March
     come and go
         in a whirlwind of the mind
         when nothing seems to stick
               to the bare trees of memory
         until overnight white and curiously odorous
                                    flower clouds fly up

      punctuate the wordless
          timidly deciduous trees
          so that the idea of a message
                with its contradictions of beauty
                        and a noxious scent

      sends a message of reality
                rather than idealizing gazes


March 7, 2020
Norman, OK

Japanese Pear Trees in Oklahoma

********************************

THE WAGES OF LIFE


Cedars burned by a prairie fire
two or three years now gone by now

half-naked skeletons
draped in scorched rags

their ash quaffed by the wind

somewhere between
desire and fear


march 7, 2020
norman, oklahoma


****************************
WE, THE SHEEP


A field of sheep
A field of sleep

Those odd, square-shaped ponds
Storing oil pumped from shallow wells

The oil field below rumbling into a gusher
Men covered in mud and sweat

    Those were the days
    Oh yes, they were

Joy and infinite potential
Long before we knew –

    a lake of oil
    a lake of pain

From the highway, I see
   nubbins of wool

   knobs of cedars
          and a field

               drifting off to sleep

March 7, 2020
Norman, Oklahoma


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