Of Mother

the spirits of the ancients

rumble in ochred striations

rasp with copper calls

of the wisdom of the earth.

this petrified sand, here,

that grabs my foot-treads

\while I suspect it of slippery treachery\

roots me, through the centuries,

in ways only my soles

can wearily fathom.

wild beauty surges through thundering veins

with every startling gust

that reminds me, breathless,

of my cosmic insignificance.

sandstone vistas ransack my wind

\as I grasp, mindless and controlling\

while my cap is strewn in the dust

with all my careful planning.

long deceased, gnarled juniper branches

smoothed with the oils

of countless fearful

lend strength and support

as stubborn doggedness flags.

there are cliffhangers here

\rarefied legends beyond my ken\

that cling, dusty and persistent,

to knotted and testy calves.

mother o’erwatches

omnipotent and ever-present

as I traverse her playground.

Pas De Deux

I hear the woodpecker peck

I scan the trees and see him not

risking a trip

at my chased by hellhounds’ pace

                          (why do I assume

                          the woodpecker is a he?

                           is it the phallusy of his name?

                           or expectation that glorious plumage

                            adorns solely avian males?)

at each echoing percussion

I picture the rubies

threaded upon his crown,


of homage due.

               (I would bow in wonder

               curtsy indeed

               if only I could capture

  •      photographic –

              carmine crest)

I chase

amongst the thickets

insufficiently stealthy


of crimson glimpses,

shrills a raucous descant

betwixt rat-tat-tat drumming

(fluttering coquetry

dashes limb to limb

lifting checkerboard skirts

in reticent resplendence)

I give up the chase

pixels un-imagined

senses scarlet with

unrequited adulation