THE OPEN WINDOW

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We all die in harness,

dragging a blade we sharpen all our lives

across the belly of the earth.

But let me live one moment inside this welcome light

coming through the kitchen window,

while the taste of coffee is still on my tongue,

still sweet with cream.

Joy comes easily to me now, standing at my ease,

fields left unplowed, unseeded.

What remains after everything has been taken is a joy

there is no one left to claim.

A voice is heard calling a name I no longer answer to

and suddenly the moon is in the poplar tree with its companion

the first star.

.
.

Photo of bee taken on the road to the White Salmon River.

Photo of bee taken on the road to the White Salmon River.

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A MAN WILL ABANDON HIS FACE

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There was a story my mother told me of a dust storm in Lubbock, Texas

before the war.
Cattle caught in a depression went sand blind
and the green was scoured from 4 door sedans.

But now I am nobody’s son.

I am not the boy who fell from the roof of a 3 story building and lived.
From where I lie in the dawn
I can see the moon like the horns of a bull and the last star of morning.

But I am not the one who ran with red colts in the field
who ran with calves kicking up their polished hooves.
I am not the bull with the moon caught in his horns.

 

There are voices fine as yellow thread that want to call us back saying

”We know who you are.”
Don’t listen to them.
Sometimes in early morning I hear my father’s voice
drawn from the well he dug through cold volcanic stone.
I hear his words coughed up with smoke and phlegm and red East Texas clay.

My father’s eyes were fields of purple hull peas
split by a line of thorn tree and sweet gum
with a wave of air running through them.
His anger was one hundred acres of feed corn molded in the husk.

Now I am no body’s son.

I am fire burning in a pan of water.

 

The smokehouse door has fallen from its leather hinges.

The moon has set in the horse pasture where a thousand blue bottles were thrown.
These memories I put into ground and smooth them over
with my hand.

 

We are able to cut the threads that bind us.

We are able to live without idea of who we are.
A man can rise in early morning from the dead and walk like christ into the light of day!
A man can abandon his face and let his eyes be everywhere
become the sky unfurrowed in all directions
not perceive himself as separate from the blow fly
or the morning glory vine!

Not care to be less than everything he sees, hears, smells, tastes.
Not care to be more.

 

I want to go where there is not a whirlwind not a column of smoke to guide me

where I am ash
and the moon comes down to look me eye to eye.
That is where you find me
one grain of sand tumbling against another.

What I have to show for sixty years of breathing is the swell of you inside me.

I belong to you.