Here the field
patched green and brown
rushes down
like sheets in the sun
spiky grasses whispering to
a frozen hare,
ears sensing undercurrents
run run run
danger in fields
of scratchy, murmuring

prey scanning for background
noise, peripheral
warning scents
musk in the breeze
heart racing flight
to the bolt hole
smelling of safety,
subterranean funk
and the after-rain
of life

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they hiked to a secret place,
if you can call a forest pool
known to all the kids in town

in the fleeting heat of summer
the still, deep pool appeared
amid rapids and gnarling
forest branches
creatively dubbed
“hot rocks”
for obvious reasons
some generations before

it was a lazy summer sport,
hiking with beer
throwing down wet bodies
onto hot rocks
or each other
jumping into the frigid water,
laughter and screams through the quiet rainforest

until Jesse jumped
diabetic Jesse who was drunk
like the rest of them
and his mortal, adolescent heart
just stopped
searing this memory
ever after
of CPR and sweat
and the twins screaming
Jesse Jesse Jesse

there were no cell phones then
only miles to run hauling
ghost Jesse
to the beat-up pickup
and then the loss
of time

fast forward to
Sophie dressed in black
without crying,
reading poetry
for Jesse
her first love
not knowing how my heart broke
for her,
my own first love,
how I had always wished
to be Jesse

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not lost, buried
behind a supermarket in the suburbs
shed like skin
crevasses searching
for signs of life
lying awake, in the dark
listening to the beating heart of life
waiting for the call
of sun and sparrow
when tendrils burst
from sidewalks and parking lots

shattered hope
scattered earthward
waits out winter
and watches
not lost,
only buried

awaken now,
as green and gold reprimand
strong as love
and dandelions
to turn away

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ever crying “O”

IMG_1566i walked the dog in winter
with senses open full
and heard a maddened moaning
in a symphony of wind
she called to me
this mourning tree
her naked arms outstretched
she drew me close
and whispered
a secret i now forget
but i see her
in my half-life dreams
a halo, red and gold,
children playing at her feet
laughing, running, growing old
the secret, the secret,
it haunts me
it had to do with life
or some other grand illusion
frozen now in time
why does she weep
my mourning tree
ever crying “O”
for children grown
or mothers gone
or a small blue planet’s

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