by James Ross Kelly
At seventeen I was driving my
Newly restored & shiny red 1951 Henry J
I’d worked on for 3 years,
With its rebuilt, “Kaiser Supersonic 6”
Down Highway 62, it is 1967 &…
Go to Silver Birch Press:
by James Ross Kelly
At seventeen I was driving my
Newly restored & shiny red 1951 Henry J
I’d worked on for 3 years,
With its rebuilt, “Kaiser Supersonic 6”
Down Highway 62, it is 1967 &…
Go to Silver Birch Press:
On the death of poet David Lloyd Whited
It has been over four fortnights since my friend
David died, his widow at his deathbed calling
Me & asking me to speak to him
Through the phone, he in a coma
Children and Marian around so, I panicked &
I prayed the only Christian prayer
I could think of, “Lord bring him back
We need him here, his good cheer and we
Need more of him and Lord don’t take him!”
I’ll apologize to no man for my panic
When his wife arrived from her
Work that Friday he first allowed that he’d not gone
To work as he was feeling bad, & minutes later he
Was on the floor, that Friday night
Having collapsed trying to sit up with Marian’s help
On his couch, didn’t feel good that day
& he stiffened up and went to the floor
I was 700 miles down I-5 I could not go
& there was no good outcome surmised by doctors
The Poet’s heart had given way
In Alaska I saw repeatedly every deer season
An Unkindness of Ravens as they are called
When in a feeding frenzied group to
Herald every afterkill of blacktail deer,
A snow laden clamor of raven and eagle
Blood on white snow unsympathetic
As most obituaries but louder, & yet
I know only the antidote of fond memory
David & I as young men
Drank and read our poems aloud
& reading poems we crawled through bars & bistros
& fished behind the Snake River dams
& off the derelict sand barge on Maurey Island
& caught ling and true Cod & sharks out of the Puget sound
I carried him out of at least three bars & one night
Off the Tramp Harbor pier
This was the man that wrote:
“Sadness Drives a Fast Red Car”
He died Sunday morning after Thanksgiving
I did not go to the funeral, did not know of a wake
Cremated out of the hospital & as there is usually
These days, no acknowledgement of the body as a rite
A memorial in a church in Tacoma was due
Work friends, one brother, grieving Marian & son & daughters
I called her the morning of the funeral
& I asked her to open all the windows
In their little house on the Puget Sound
At the mouth of Judd Creek
When she left to go to Tacoma.
My good poet friend David is dead
Anger of a kind
rests in the contours
of our palms,
Anger of a kind
with clenched fist
demands hearing of
why & wherefores
to this satiated life
Anger of a kind
bleeds from open wounds
& wombs, distended
bellies, machine-gunned children
nerve gassed children, & children killed by suicide bombs
Anger of a kind
wretches at the politicos,
foreign & domestic,
infects itself & all
that it touches
with promises & putrescence’s
Anger of a kind cries to a limpid
to accept anguish, suffering,
murder, ignorance, nor placation
solely because they have always been
or, because they have always been paid off
Anger of a kind stands
witness for all that come after, sometimes
having used a tempered edge for necessary deadly force
and final will for change, & that swift bitch–change herself
This anger is kind.
The Tehama County library
I find a sumptuous oak table
Locate the latest
& learn the favorite meal of the
Inuit, in Isortoq, Greenland
Dipped in Ketchup & Mayonnaise
The last two pieces of oak have gone
Into the stove
& it’s too dark & icy to get more,
Inside the stove a chunk to the right
Smolders & pops
To the left about thirty seconds
Ago the other said the same
It is getting cold—a jet
High above at this moment
Is taking someone
Toward a sad occasion
We all suffer
Iris in a water carafe
Is stupidly trying to bloom
On the hot stove I dropped Frankincense
This after noon
& a Holy odor
Pervades this cabin
No priests on this mountain
Wind chimes however
Lovers embrace in
All over the planet
Genetic material furthered
To be exactly what they
Are, themselves, guiltless after Christ,
Either by love or some other reason
Life brings on abundant life &
His own purpose
& like the tides, surges connection
Recedes, then surges again.
Stepping out into
The crisp night air under leafless
Oaks, there is a clean
Smell that can only be
Had in certain places,
Venus shimmers off mountain
Horizon, I thought maybe
You were looking at her too
Glimmering off your Bodega Bay
The pliable ivory of your face
& red hair
& connected pervasively,
Venus occluded with moon
Four days ago.
While you know
I don’t buy Astrology
& for you that’s part
Of your faith & that’s all right
For you then
I wonder about now
Three days before this evening
I’m told of twelve people
Three of which believe
That they are from Venus
& have video tape of
Venusian space ship
Landing on earth
Life is preciously beautiful
& we are part & parcel of
Gaseous formation of the adjacent
Planet & I would never want
To break up their meeting, & laughing
Though I am
Knowing that voiding time
All of this is a togethered thing &
While Botticelli’s art
Which we accept unlike
The Venusian space ship
& how he
Put her so delicately
On the half-shell
With your red hair
It is more like
A dream this art as life
Than a reverie
But there in imagination
We loved each other
& shared our last name w/out marriage
no relation & states away
A decade apart our
Birthdays, yet the same?
We astonished each other
You were swooped off
To California, but
In this cabin, this damn
Cold Oregon December,
Your red hair spilled across
My chest, your smell like
Lilac must, your
Touch soft, is soft &
Warm air becomes heavy
Acrid smoke fills the air,
A cabin, or a cave,
Or a peat heated shanty above
A wind swept cliff & the sheep bells
Clang in the mist?
I saw a reflection in your eyes
Dim light, our bodies move,
& then we were still, & your
Touch again, it should not be
A dream, yet it was
& that’s all we had
My heart surged
Not from desire
But from wonder &
Though we never made love you
Were many times on
My arm & we many times kissed
Deep spit swapping passion
& one night we slept together
This imagination makes what it will
Yet you were always a person
Not to be worshiped
But to be known & we knew each
Other in some kind of morphic
Field that came together & said
I don’t buy reincarnation either, but
The neo-paganism you seemed to love, hey
The playful part I get,
Masks &drums & the anthropomorphic
Notion of animals, like coyote, but
The old gods have always been
Pagan playfulness, still has a black ribbon
Running through it to the diabolic,
As did the inquisition,
Or any religious spirit
In every camp—waiting
For the wrong move away
Presence interior & from
The dimness fades
& the light grows
Too, too bright
I close my eyes
Black ice on asphalt & fire
On the moon
We were both void of direction
& then I see again your face
Then calm, your face changes, again &
Ten out of ten of us die
& you were eventually gone
I hadn’t been home long enough to take a shower
& there came a pounding on the door & I knew only too well
Who it was and he was the last person in the world I wanted to see.
I answered the door.
“Ah Heartache my old friend,” I said,
“Come in you, son-of-a-bitch, come on in make yourself at home.
You know your way around, there’s beer in the refrigerator.
“I gotta grab a shower.”
He didn’t say a word but headed for the Hotpoint refrigerator
Next to the Frigidaire gas stove.
I got in the shower and washed off the grime from the roofing job,
I’d hated for the last month. One more week and that would be done.
Then hopefully the rains would start; I’d be off with unemployment checks
Until an editing job promised me, turned up in January
& I could get some of my own writing done,
Without worrying about the wolves at the door
Although this guy and his friends were worse than wolves
I got out of the shower and there he was with his feet propped on my coffee table
Watching the six o’clock news. He had gone through one sixteen ouncer
& was well into his second —I’d been expecting him
But was wishing he’d gone back to California where he belonged
“Looking kind of down in the mouth,” I said.
“Been with that bitch Envy again haven’t you?
What? And her sister Passion as well.
You sick bastard
That’s what I’ve always admired about you.”
I finished drying my hair and zipped open another tall boy.
I just sat there eyeing the tube with as much attention &
Chagrin at the commercials as he gave Tom Brokaw.
I wanted him out of the apartment but felt some strange
Premonition he needed to be there,
Then there came another knocking at the door.
I answered & there stood
Misery in Friday night togs looking like an escapee
from a disco pogrom years ago.
“Yeah, I might of known it would be you,” I told him as I opened the door.
“Come in it seems I’ve got some company you’re gonna love. The beers are where they stay cold.”
And it wasn’t three minutes before there I was with both of them on my couch,
Drinking my beer and arguing about the Baseball strike.
Misery was immediately on the side of the owners & caps,
Allowing as how he’d never made even one percent of average players salary
While old Heartache lashed into the right to collectively bargain
& protection under anti-trust laws & how Misery’s one percent
Was because he’d never worked longer than three months his life
& couldn’t do anything other than complain well.
I bought out three cans of oily sardines and a bag of chips
before they got around to yelling for food.
I’d scarcely gotten the hosting job done when a banging started at the back door.
“Who the hell could this be now?”
I made my way back through the rubble of beer cans
on the back porch with its idle fishing poles
& the washing machine that never worked
& there he was—his left shoulder facing me
& looking up into the sky bright almost neon
Twilight of October’s bright changing colors solemnly turning gray
“Loneliness, you bastard,” I grumbled.
“At least you brought beer,” I told him,
I made my way back into the apartment
Loneliness shuffling in behind me.
“Look who’s here boys,” I yelled
As I went for another one my beers before they were all gone.
I knew Loneliness brought the beer the least money can buy.
Every three months with the change the seasons it seemed
He abandoned whatever twelve-step he was in
& ended back on my back porch with the cheap beer
I made my way back into the living room & they all were making
More noise without saying anything, than Howard Cosell ever did,
Arguing about Self-Pity and whether he was going make it back into town.
“That’s all I need,” I said out loud, “is to have that creep show up tonight.”
I then made a mental note not let him in if he did.
When I discovered that there was nowhere to sit, I took the floor
In front of the tube and they’d switched on a two month old golf tournament
Where a baseball game should have been, &
I knew it was going to be a bad night.
I entered a fast food restaurant,
My brand, where they will serve
Breakfast 24/7 & where I’ve never
Been sick afterwards, & this knowledge
Is very valuable much like entering
An area in remote Indonesia & figuring out the
Friendly tribes & how to avoid the cannibals,
I & my wife walk up to the counter, an affable Chicano dude
Takes my order, while giving others in the
Kitchen orders & I ask him how he is doing?
“Living the dream,” he says,
“Living the dream,” he repeats,
“And you sir?” he asks.
“Wonderful!” I reply, “Wonderful!” I repeat.
I’ve been sitting in my back yard
Remembering this and taking in my
Flowering light lavender purple crepe myrtle, with finches eating
Thistle seed from the hanging socks, my wife has tied there,
in this twenty foot tree the finches are hanging
upside down on the sock like yellow monkeys &
Loud red and orange Canna Lilies in the corner of the yard and now bright
New Red Crepe myrtle, is coming in beside the compost box, at breast height
Flowering for the first time deep purple red, I’m making small talk with my wife &
We are on a back deck under an umbrella at 10 am drinking good coffee
& it will be 104 degrees today, but now it is so pleasant &
I’m remembering this breakfast two weeks ago &
Thinking about “living the dream,” this gentleman
Had lots of tattoos, and deep scars on his face
& forearms—clearly some of his dreams had been
Nightmares, & there was a tone of
Sarcasm in his reply, & so much of this life in
Stepping into retirement has been this ever-rewarding notion that
I am living the dream, while the poems & stories come out &
Scream out sometimes or sometimes softly but I’m finally living the dream
& the small pension and social security are like the Guggenheim
I never applied for, nor even wanted to apply for, & this
Notion of the artists’ life having to have the day job, & wait,
I did both, I waited, did the bidding of others for a decades & a half
& now I get to fish when I want drive this word processor all day
Or fifteen minutes if I want & I’m taking all this in and paying
Attention dutifully to what my wife is saying, & then she leaves & more
Finches come, a beautiful small red & blue grosbeak comes to the
Bird feeder & peeks around the foliage, leaves, comes back leaves again
& comes back and feeds, I notice robins in the grape vines on the white picket
Fence & realize they are eating our grapes that have just ripened, I yell
At them, my wife has come to find out what is going on &
I tell her about the grapes & we both go to inspect, &
Well they have hammered all fifty or sixty bunches of table grapes
That we were waiting to pick tomorrow, my wife is really mad
& I’m out on the other side of the fence laughing at the birds & the picked
Clean clumps that were just yesterday pumping up their white green
Sugary goodness & are now skeletons beneath the yellowing leaves
I am living the dream; & I’ve got scars to prove it, like the sweet gone grapes
It is very good this given life & its mortal expanse &
Last year the neighbors picked the grapes while we were on holiday.
Battle is all I know
& I count myself dead
Beginning with each war
There is no other way
There is no wife &
There is no life &
I must end life that comes forward to me.
War is not a backward motion
I never knew
That I knew
But I knew perfectly
When my company of men pulled away..
I was always ready to die for this King
For I am one of his 40 mighty men!
& I, a foreigner, a Hittite, as is my wife
Our grandparent’s grandparents settled in with
These Hebrews who treated us well, & many of us
Like myself & my wife became proselytes
Their faith now mine, is now mine own battle dress
Today is no different—except today I know
Just as these dogs are before me— I will die..
But not before this one who charges out of the
Throng, & oh how I love spilling his blood, & cleaving
Half through his neck & chest— he never saw it..
Now they see me ready again,
“Who is next of you— dogs? Who of your slime is next?
He brought me out of battle! Battle!
This is shame! To leave battle,
I know of no other guilt I could be guilty of
& not ask for forgiveness from this their mighty God
Because it is so vile and shameful! To leave battle?
I, Uriah the Hittite shirked no battle afraid of no foe?
To leave battle? Sent from battle like some load bearer,
Smelled fine food and his perfume in his palace
But not my brothers sweat!
What could be the reason?—this King is my life?
When each war ends, but not until it ends
Until then My life— is always Battle!
War when it begins is a linear series of horrific acts
Each death an immoral, yet honorable action until war ends.
This one is not over; we could lose, the battle King
Could lose, simply because he is not here
That men would rally to his standard as the standard of the Almighty
My queen death by my right and left
Hand is the end purpose of my blood!
I sacrifice a lamb for every man I kill.
He set me before table of feast & wine
Then bade me go to my wife? To my wife?
When it is my oath to kill the dogs set before me
& there they remain and my brothers without me at their side?
That is all I could fathom.. I slept at his door & never saw my wife.
Heh, you, you Ammonite scum, die as you run to me! I know your slime
Ridden brothers will soon bring your archers to bear
Until then, this is two of your Hundreds
That taunt, dead & the blood still spilling out of that one now,
His tunic floating red now..
“I want more of you, like a hungry man wants his dinner!”
Three are running toward me now, one to the right, he will
Make a flanking move, the others come straight forward with
Lances, I will kill them all with these moves the Most High
Has given me, we 40 men were schooled in the difference between
Killing and murder—I am a killer. It is so. Yet I have never murdered.
But he the King? Why does he murder me? I thought Joab could never do this
Had it not been bidden by the King
I carried the message that ordered this treachery—I saw it on Joab’s face
My brothers would never do this, Joab placed me with
Young men, first time in battle & when they withdrew on orders
As I led the charge and these dogs quartered in and have
Boxed me on this rocky field I saw them Leave in tight formation
—the King was angered
When I refused to go to my wife
Perhaps he slept with my wife & brought me
Home to assuage this guilt? Yet I cannot believe that.
Did he not know that the most shame I could bare
Fiends take my wife who bathed on the roof below the Kings’ window
I joked about the King seeing her private parts!
Perhaps that was my sin, perhaps she will foal Hebrew blood and connect
To a lineage unknown to me, there is more than war, I know now that
This is the day I die, I would want nothing but warriors for sons,
Still.. was leaving my brothers in arms for his table a thing he thought I could bear?
Ah, but those days he commanded us in the field!
I would follow him anywhere and do his bidding
No matter the course, so I left battle hoping to be
Assigned a particularly dangerous duty..
Oh! How, I love to side-step a shield & with a feinting move
This flanking bastard coming close will soon die & while these two get to see me jump!
Up so my sword can kill from the height of his shoulder
I plunge it straight down with the quick stab which parallels down the neck
Passing through clavicle quickly & down quickly down..
Down into the vitals & as I come back to earth tipping the living falling corpse back he falls
The air leaves him & my sword is out and now & as he topples—I kill the other two!
The look on his face when I left the ground is still in my mind
As I now smell them all bleeding—& it is strange that now I wish the King was watching.
“I, Uriah the Hittite Servant of King David—of his 40 mighty men will go to my
Death with joy this day—as a warrior I’ve never looked for rescue!”
My brothers backed off leaving me cut off & the wall over there..
I’ve known since I was dispatched from the King
Some one thing was wrong, & if it be betrayal—so be it.
That I’ve fought valiantly for this King no one will ever deny
This has been my great joy when it was I knew he
Voiced daily with Almighty, I’d seen him as a youth
When he’d put down that ungodly beast behemoth Goliath
Stinking philistine that he was—I admit it I could not fathom it
Yet I saw it, I saw it at 18 and he was 15, & he killed him
With stone from his sling, dead, in the dirt
The giant that smelled of excrement & ate raw meat
& entrails unclean & putrid & gargantuan as he was—he bloated in half a day
David cut off his head with the Giant’s own sword!
Oh how we rejoiced seeing the Philistine dogs run after this &
When I heard that the prophet named David the anointed of
The Almighty I knew of no other thing I could do
But serve him— David, and shortly swore my allegiance
To him and only him, that my old uncle
Betrayed him, & his traitor son who infuriated me, & when I
Saw Absalom dead my heart swelled with the joy
The justice of it, yet I saw my King weep & grieve
As if he’d lost an infant child, I thought him
Beyond human with tenderness that day
I, Uriah the fierce Hittite was moved by
His loss and his ability to love
Now I see that they are
Sending five at me… Ha! I give it to these dogs they
Have not brought archers nor javelins to bear even now & will
Try showing themselves men! Ha! I’ll kill these five!
I’m now leaking red blood & that was a little harder
Than I thought—my age? I’ll have no gray hair after this day!
Ha! This Day of my death, no old man tottering before a grave for me!
I am a warrior & death has always been my mistress.
That keeps me true to my wife!
I’ve always been true but now there are
Other arms of Sheol reaching to receive me —I go there with honor!
If there is resurrection as some of these Hebrews believe,
I desire to march straight for it.
But not before I taunt them more, “Dogs! come spill some more of your
Entrails that I Uriah will make you whore mothers weep! Dogs that
Defy the Mighty one of Israel! Come die with me today so you
Will see Sheol and bark for even dark mercy!”
These Hebrews taught me Job & He Who is Mighty
Test men—I’ll be true to this test
Ha! & now I see the archers being placed, & a phalanx of
Infantry to take my arrowed corpse, Ha! Today I die!
The morning sky is red, & a hot wind blows in my face,
My doom is this day will not steal my joy of this
My final battle—a wrong done against me never-the-less
Through a cause of which I’ll never know here.. yet I smell Hyssop
I smell olive oil, I smell savory, and Basil, and Aloe
Their clang of armor sounds paltry,
Now I’m hearing distant symbols, tambourines & trumpets
Bah! I throw down my shield & pick up a lance!
In thirty feet the archers will have to shoot round their infantry
I will charge them!
He has some reason not privy to me, & so as said Job
& now I charge them! & I’m yelling:
“Even though He slay me, yet I will praise Him!”
The double standard was part
Of the unwritten rule
At the start of the decade of the seventies
rules were being bent,
made up, broken, thrown away
& generally laughed at.
wouldn’t be until the mid-1980s
that the pandemic
of acquired immune deficiency syndrome
would bring us scurrying through the gutters
to find the rules and again adopt a modicum
of fidelity that had been temporarily
on hold while penicillin really had knocked
sexually transmitted disease easier to cure
than the common cold, oh these were the brave years
of a sexual revolution that was no more
revolutionary than tomato juice
Personal behavior as a consequence
was on hold with Roe v. Wade mixed up
privacy with infanticide, or reinstalled it
as a pagan rite, while My Lai could be rationalized & its
perpetrators could be slid into obscure exoneration
in the day it was Pendleton shirts, and Converse tennis shoes,
V-8 engines that took you down the American highway
At a high rate of speed, the lonesome highways
between suburbs and rural America where you
could feel a rhythm of road noise
& drive in a day a distance
your grandfather could not travel in three weeks
& then there was the warm wet your pants
seduction of the commercial
National rant of it, that sold the notion
to the nation that this perfect thing
we thought we had, was never perfect, which it wasn’t.
but the sales pitch was—that there was a sale
on Democracy worldwide & that, somehow made it right
that we had the right to make that illusion
part of everywhere else.
Our love is all of God’s money
Everyone is a burning sun
Belief is the locked up tangible thing,
of law that the dust can be blown off of,
taken from a bookshelf, objectified, crucified
pointed at, solid repository of ideological contusions,
Gnostic misdemeanors, white lies & black ones of unreality
no different from the adulterous
first degree murder of guilty abrasions on your soul & woeful
finger-pointing wrong in legalistic right…
“Liberals and fundamentalists are both humanists,” said the old preacher grinning as he cleaned the carburetor of his Buick with Joy from a yellow plastic bottle & a tooth brush
“One believes there is a better day a coming, all with a strong right arm of correct politics, & culture change.
“The other believes there is a better day a coming, if you do everything the Bible say; both have made Man’s action the operative & left out God as the agent of change. ” Then after putting the air cleaner back together, he laughed and said, “Isn’t it interesting that moralism gets us only so far!”
Rolling up through time & space containerized in
This bone-bag existence of drunken pleasure & pain
& psychedelic sin
the BE Living,
the BE loving
fluid active running down the river & the red fish
in the river & the same thing and is this River of Life flowing from us..
living water of life on this planet flowing from us somehow..
that gets us to the other side
& brings us back
A dilation of time, in this space–from another one.
so the bone bag has some kin
w/ the reddening sky,
mist on the mountain
bird song, moon rising
star twinkle ’round Orion’s belt
& sun setting over placid ocean
& laughter of a four year old son,
keeper of His kingdom
the Life is..
the forgiving cry of the first born Son
the Truth, blessed Yeshua
the Way, to get though this life w/joy,
perseverance, love &
“Our Father in heaven..”
& because His name is..
within us &
all so, “On earth as it is in Heaven.”
Someday I’ll go to
the second growth forest
I planted in the Trinity alps
on SP land on a ridge, where
every day at 4 p.m. for three days
Navy jets roared over us
at treetop level shaking the
ground and our hippy asses, while
resting & drinking tall boys
after 7 hours of
bone breaking work, placing tiny
spruce in ripped soil w/ tiny roots
all landing in moisture &
packed down to spring out
next spring and grow back
to giant towers just before
the bare grassy alpine, if
& only if they are forgotten
She started a conversation
& then said, “There isn’t any
More wine,” then that finally
Ran down too,
With an economic ocean evening
& I looked, but it wasn’t there
I’d seen it before, & looked
Again, & some haven’t seen it
Some don’t believe & others
Have never looked—but I’ve seen it
& it is there & sharing the similarity
Of being as sure as Jesus
& like Him it may appear when you
Aren’t looking, & it’s said to be the
Phenomena of the tropics
& a bright by horizontal
Green flash that takes from a beach or boat
A good portion of the ocean horizon
Outward from the sun momentarily,
Then leaves as we twist round the corner
Into night & our own devices
& I’ve seen it in the Pacific &
In inhuman humidity where
Papayas ripen daily instead of in seasons
& there for some, just like Jesus again,
The knowledge of a cool northwest
Misty moss covered forest or apples ripening
In the crisp fall, once-a-year— is unknown,
Except for the telling..
My Dog is dying
Under the crepe myrtle tree
In full blossom & drifting
Down over him & me &
My wife & the vet is coming
At two, he’s 14 & had the full
Dog experience, me rescuing him from
A rancher who got him as a stray
Into his ranch & announced he
Had too many dogs, & his wife
Knowing he would shoot him &
I worked with her & she asking 12 years
Ago, “Would you like a nice dog?”
& I saw him and said, “Hi buddy,”
& he sat down right beside me & took
A pet & he’s been my Buddy ever since
For me & my son & my wife, he’s
Chased cows on my rancher buddy’s 7,000 acre ranch
With Cow-dog English Shepherds in Eastern Oregon,
& had three years of running with Walker Hounds
On Black bear chases in Alaska, with my hunting buddy
Biologist & once treed, we then took pictures
& petted up the dogs, we let all the bears go
Once he treed a bear on his own, but he’d come back to the truck
If the Walker hounds had a five mile chase
He in his Airedale/ Rottweiler compact 90 lb frame defended our yard
from a marauding German shepherd, & after the stitch up
I had him neutered, & he was still hard on cats but
He learned to live with the one we had,
Early on I saw that he would point cats
Paw up and tail straight like a bird dog &
Well, I’ve had to pay a number of vet bills to stitch up felines
& just two weeks ago feeble as he is
One wandered into his backyard
& he tried for one last biting of the cat, tipping over the lawn chairs,
Table & umbrella, & barbecue, he always had the seeming happy dog smile
Even now that he can’t move his hind legs & he quivers in pain
& the vet is coming at two, & my dear wife
Has been weeping for three days &
The crepe myrtle blossoms are falling on him
& the vet is coming at two.
It would be before
the gurgle of water
in streams clearing
after rains of after
stillness of the movement
of snowfall where
& lodgepole take the first
winters weight of whiteness
all standing before moments
pervasive & there
my heart leaps out for You
as a child kicking deep in
bellied womb, waiting as
the Cascades wait for each
winter’s snow which is
cold slow birth of
every mountain spring