Things Mended, Once

Newness and time and
Days spent wandering wild by
Things not said and cannot be
Said… by trails taken and paths gone
Down just once. I

Have been gone and silent. Quiet
Thinking on ridges and long walks up
Boulder-studded hills that take us to
Songs in the wind or

A sun-bright cold day in Rockies and
Beer bought on holiday days near
Hotels lost to time
And space. How do

We begin again? Is it just picking up
Broken things and mending them
As best we can? Or something

Deeper, more profound, more
Struggles to find old things in closets we
Cleaned out long ago. A shoe with

Holes in soles that was thrown down stairs
I cannot find.

Visions of a West, Lost

So much and so
Little like a lone and
Dusty road you come
Down from mountains lost
In snow and rain and clear
Cascades of sky that you

Look up to and out on days
And nights with smoke that
Billows up into a clear
And cool campfire sky. I

See it as small, wooden works
And wood that creaks under boots
With mud and chills and looks
Out to hope and songs that we
Hear on nights when all there is

Is us lost,
Somewhere high
Up.

3 Stanzas for Winter Days

Suddenly it all comes down and
A patient, pensive stillness
Settles out across the views

That stretch to cold-topped and
White-dusted hills with foot-
Prints you can trace as

You stand and watch and
Breathe in deep chills that still
Are coming quietly from
Somewhere else…

A Poem Found On the Side of a Road

A Poem Found
On the Side of a Road

Badly damaged and hard to
Read in places…

Somewhere out West where
We know of canyons and
A pale, translucent moon I

See hillsides by hills and
Far off a lone figure up
Far off passes we squint

At in the sun. It
Just like this place. This
Feeling by fires and smells

Of streams by woods near
Trees we can only see
Waving at us from roads

We just can’t reach…

The rest cannot be read.

In Praise of Simple Things

Observed on Summer Nights

I.

So often I think
Of vast expanses of
Blue that
Comes up on us

Like storms lost somewhere
In the distance.

II.

The soft, steady
Pellets of rain that
Fall like

Evening shadows across
A red canyon wall.

III.

Birds calling. A
Sweetness of smell as
Wind picks up dry dirt and
Tosses it

Off in bug-filled air.

IV.

Longings and whispers.
Silence and the break
Of branches off
In calm, cool,
Wild woods.

Poem-Hunting in Far-Away Lands

In search of a poem, a line to
Form those more-perfect words that
I can just barely find on
Hillsides in the sun and
A tall, lone tree that stands there
By itself, glimmering…

Like those words I come back to on
Distant days in far
Flung lands where I walk under a
Bridge and smell sweet
Roasting chestnuts in a July
Christmas market. Toys and gifts.

That perfect metaphor, or
A quiet line that spills through to
Bright days in a desert. Such red
Soil, like the blood of
Ancients. Seeping and becoming one
With a pale blue sky that I

Reach and reach off to but
Cannot grasp. It is

Too far away so I
Stay here and think of
That little cryptic word
Wriggling around in

The sinews of a time
In winter gardens and the
Bright blue of deep songs
In dark distant and still
Summer skies.

An Ode to the Blue

Observed Once In Silent Hills

You always see it, such an
Endless expanse of blue that
Goes on and on to quiet
Ridges by grasses that blow

Around old fences from a time
Long ago. Like a sadness

Almost, like such extremeness of
Depth that you must drive and
Drive off and away from it like

Wind rattling a door at night but
Then leaving nothing but
A tipped over pot of plants and

A pile of leaves and bark
In a corner. Yes,

It is always there, you always
See it and know that even on
Dark nights it is
There, waiting somewhere…

For you. This pale,
Opaque, translucent
Blue.

Quiet Streams that Whisper, Once

I wish I could tell you
About the wild beauty of
Distant slopes seen
Through the thick haze of
Squalid towns. The

Crunch of broken rocks. The
Silent hawks caught in a
Warm, wild breeze that blows
In before a storm with clouds that
Were coughed up from a desert
Lake near waterfalls that twist through
Steep, rugged and red
Canyon walls. All of

This… all is lost
Somehow to wild men in
Bushes who scrounge for coins and
Cotton that brakes off from stems
Shattered by the horses I can still
Just hear passing beyond the barren
Mountain gulches. I wish…

The carts go up the canyon and come
Down again. They move on
And off, while I
Am left sitting here smelling
Sweet lawn water sprinkling up
Across green locks and hear
The clouds break off and cool into
Colors of red and pink and, somewhere
In the distance: the purple that breaks
Into a house no one
Can find.

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.

Wild Horses, Spotted Once

I see them in dark
Ancient forests, nestled
Up against bright, old
Pines. These

Horses these beasts that
Roam and wander roam
And crash through snow
Crests where an old trail
Once led to summits by
A cabin left abandoned –
The home now of the
Wind and weeds. Ah,

Horses spotted in the distance.
The only sign
Smells and hoof
Prints in dark earth. The

Whine on a winter morning when
Woods are covered in mist and
Somewhere out
There is an echo an
Eerie sense of calm as
Plumes of hot breath break
Up through blue, bright
Blue sky. Such

Freedom I
Think. Such…