Thoughts on Open Places

The vast openness of space beyond
Space. Roads that flow on
To towns I see by
Signs bent along broken,
Rutted ridgeways. Yes,

Open spaces and places. Views
To mist-covered rocks that make me
Think of some lone man
Climbing up and up
To views of distant longings.

The pristine glimpse,
Of side-views over spaces…

Water pools that come out
With a shock on
Such clear days of sun and mist –
Slight drops of rain that dust
A car moving down
Through passes that twist and wind,
Careen over to a soft place of songs
And silence to openness and… yes,

A lone man walking with a stick, moving
Across an open meadow
On a clear, cool morning high up
In this mystic place
Of long,
Quiet views.

In Praise of Other Things

I like all of the voices, the
Slight changes and tones and
Inflections that point towards
Some lone voice,
Howling in the woods. It

Just seems so pleasant to
Hear them even when I can’t
Even see who they are, these
Poets lost somewhere along
Wires and mist and signals sent
Flying across the globe. They

Say things about nature and love
And places and tastes tasted once
On long ago sands. The smell of
Warmth and midnight rain. The
Clap of thunder that wakens you
With a start. I

Hear them. I admire their voices and
Ways of saying. Those lingering
Posts that still wait to be clicked on
The silver screen…

Thoughts of the Ancients

Thoughts of the Ancients, Written
At Mesa Verde

The day the ancients left was
By all accounts a sad, still,
Quiet day, full of reckoning.

They left the dwellings,
They abandoned the canyons,
Leaving them to time,
And the wind.

Stone axes used lovingly for
Years were left in corners.
Old jugs and holders left
Propped up against stone walls
Slowly and meticulously put up
Through the years, and filled
With mud and stray bits of
Stone and dirt. All left
To time, and the wind.

The rooms where babies had
Cried, and were raised up the
Red canyon walls were walked
Out of by feet that will never
Enter them again.

The carefully cut foot-holds wear
Down. The ladders rot. The old
Signs and symbols on walls wear
Away, falling
Away into the dust.

And… the kivas where once the
Clans met in subterranean gloom, and
Where once an elder I think
Sat by the fire, crackling
And billowing up smoke, once
Told tales of winter winds on
The mesa-tops, and walks along
Cliffs cut from the pinyons. Or,
Waving his hands, when the
Birds cawed in his youth and
He remembers them still. The
Night-smells. The bonfires in the
Distance. The distant thunder and
Rain that once came glowing up the
Crystal canyons. All of this is
Left behind. All…

They walked out and never
Came again, these ancients.

Sad Palmyra, Ruined Again

Such wanton madness such
Bat-blind destruction and
Death of beautiful things. I think of

Rampages at night. Cries
From the ruined walls of
Ancient sites: heads lopped
Off, temples toppled, shot
At and blown
Away. Then,

Quiet men
Taken to broken amphitheaters…
An old-time
Entertainment, renewed. Such

Madness such death
In ancient sands. As
Men grin at tattered
Statues that once held up
Grand archways over grand,
Roman parades. Of cheers

To conquering men. Of
Wine spilled of madness
On burning hill-
Sides where we see tanks
Bursting forth and still…

That silence of centuries of
Men and of women who lived
Here once but blew away like
Sandstorms on dark nights that
Blot out those distant stars we
Just can’t quite see. Lovely,

Palmyra…

The Night Train

I remember them on nights when I
Wandered alone through Prague,
Searching and waiting
For that long, lone night train to
Take me to far off
Rome. While

Waking at times from loud bumps
And breaks and screeches during the long,
Mysterious night. Where I am I

Do not know. Flying by tracks and
Plains and mountains that I oddly
Never see…

Towns stopped in in
Dreams. Quiet and jerks and
Hums of wheels spinning
By lakes, rivers, streams I
Will never see again. They
Pass me by in dreams, in my

Pale sleep. My distant thoughts on
Ridges lost to clouds that hide a
Moon that falls on countries I will
Not know of again… but I’ve
Been there? Until,

Waking up with a jolt you arrive
In Rome. To smells and noise and
Ancient sights that whisper through
Grates for you to
Come.