The Last Blue Morning

The call of an elk startles me. I look across the rolling brown and gray hills at the sewing-machine bobbing of pumpjacks and feel the disappointment shiver me like touching steel on a hard frost morning. It’s the same feeling I get when I mistake the wind cutting through the wires for a whale’s song …

When the Fall Weather Comes – Photo and Poem

The first fog of fall brings a chill with the scent of rain, of ichor, the blood of the gods, a mist that looks like a driving rain in the street lamps now switched on from clouded shadows. It catches me unaware, this feeling, as I open the door and the dog and cat run out like children …

A Flower for the Post-Apocalypse — Photo and Poem

  What’s the use of Genesis without Revelation?  But not the sudden springing  of life from a breath or the sudden fury  of an angry God, no. The long drawn  out becoming over millions of years  to bring us a flower  that grows well in the margins of bulldozed  lands and carved trails cut through  suburban empires. And …

At LAX – Photo and Poem

A motorcycle wrecked in the carpool lane,  just like when I’d driven  my daughter and her boyfriend here  three days ago.  One hour and five minutes to go one mile.  Time, though, makes all traffic pass,  even if it’s over for some guy cutting  between cars in so big a hurry  it was worth never arriving.  On …

In Conjunction – Photo and Poem.

He stands a shade bearing light. The blood of life in conjunction with the secondhand sunlight of the moon, Venus, and Jupiter as they spin along the ecliptic. The hum of distant electric lights sounds like his daughters in the far room with their dolls and stuffed animals arrayed for a celebration or on the daybed turned amphitheater as …

Blue Light – Photo and Poem

Your final morning in the field. Before sunup, in the dark the pump-jacks automatically pumping like thousands of hearts against the backdrop of stars sounds to you like the herds of elk you listened to in the forest waiting for first light years ago. You are alone in all that darkness as owls glide by and the coyotes shuffle …

No Way to Run – Photo and Poem.

It happens, when your truck strands you along some dirt track. Even after it quits, as it rolls to a stop you sway fore and aft as if to use the lever of your body to force the truck another foot. But what’s another foot among the yellowed foothills of dried grass punctuated with poles and pump-jacks? …