ashes, ashes


it’s July 15

I slide my oversized

Fleece parka around my


An ice cold wind

Howls from dark clouds

far east along the Kansas border

Clouds that do not know

It is against all conventions

To move westwardly

Across the plains

And flow into mountain marrow,

The weathermen tell them this

But I don’t think that clouds

Have quality satellite reception

Or internet

It’s all contrary to everything

We know to be true and customary

But perhaps the trade winds

Do not adhere to the convictions of humankind

Drought speaks only in question marks

Swallowing 5 inches of rainfall

A year’s worth

In an hour

The hungry soil

Will devour it

With no puddles or traces

In the sandy fields

The world is upside down

I huddle close to the ground

So I don’t fall off

While lightning snaps

And crackles around me

The dog laughs in

The autumnal breeze

Tearing after his brethren

The prairie dogs

And other unseen swordsmen

Drought has its advantages

There are no bugs

No skeeters, miller moths, hoppers, fleas, ticks

No wasps, spiders, or bees

No smelly deet

hungry robins, sparrow hawks and king birds squawk

Flying close overhead

thinking perhaps I might make a tasty snack

their mealtickets,

The bugs fell off the earth

When it tipped off its axis.

I grab a thick stand of nettle

For safety.

I see clouds disobeying rules

Roiling east to west

Filling the narrow mountain canyons

pulling hillsides onto highways

I can smell the last of the

Forest smoke

Doused by waves of rain

Sailing to me in the dryline downburst

I crouch low in the stinging nettle



We all fall



  1. Your latest poem should be on the front of newspapers from this area–it describes the “summer of 2013” so well. Somehow you have distilled the summer into one poem. Or, boiled it down and deglazed it with the full flavor (some pretty damn bitter) of this summer. Thanks for letting me read your works.

  2. one of your very best; here and now and complete. This is like music or an item well-made. It says what we see and feel but all in one offering. You are appreciated.

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