A Garden of the Gods

 Can I capture it and keep it?
I want to take it home.
MountCamelsThe lens shutters at the red rock towers
I tremble at the Camel’s Kiss
As their shadows cup the
Mountainside: a heart of light,
Love unending, eternal bliss.
I covet it.

Can I capture it and keep it?
I want not to forget
That rounded stone ramp curved
In supplication; fingered
Boulders clasping each other
In voiceless prayer swirling to
Heaven in the red dust:
Eternity flaking, crying
Out from the rocks, eternally.
So I don’t forget the earth groans too,
I take it.

Can I capture them and keep them?
I don’t want their joy to end.
These women wedge between the narrows
Of a rusty rock ledge.
Hands reach, clamp hardness, pull;Moutain
Heels push, knees propel,
Eyes pierce toward the blushing peaks,
Swelling with ivory hope.
I see it.

The heights are calling. This
Garden of the Gods
Is only stalling us. This too shall
Pass away.
But I will capture them and keep them:
Those curves of pleasure
Cupping their faces forever,
If only to recall the crisp ascent
From a shadowy cleft
Each woman took
To peaks of flaming glory.


Garden of the Gods, CO; Spring Break, March 2014

Photographs courtesy of V. Malone.

Hope Buried

White pulses against the wooden walls.
I stand at the window and knock.
The glass echoes cold.
I am the fish inside the aquarium.
The glass climbs two stories high, stretches the width of the room.
Cold white sits on me, on the carpet.
The room’s shadows are black fragments, scattering the light.
And the snow keeps falling, blanking out the Easter tones of almost-green.

It’s there, just underneath.
The fat white may try to smother it, but it’s still there.
Spring will still come.

YOLO as Spirit Animal

Yantzy owned living organs.
Yantzy owned living once.
Yantzy owned love once.
Yantzy offered love once.
You offered love once,

but then it ran away. You chased,
and it fled. It didn’t come back.

You see it sometimes blinking from
streetlights down onto blacktops,
rustling out of the stars, falling
into trees, dropping out of young
eyes and into the breeze you’re
sucking out of the sky breathlessly.

The Spirit of YOLO has descended.
It is knocking on your door. If you
don’t open, it will pass you over
and leave you undisturbed.

Demand (for Ukraine)

Inspired by “Famous” by Naomi Shihab Nye~

Ukraine demands freedom.

Silent spaces demand voices,

on mountains of suffocating injustice.

Tears demand to pound out our grief.

Hopes demand a pedestal in our hearts

to become plans.

Work boots demand gritty earth,

more than the Toms shoe,1000504_10151807612244874_1918657843_n

which demands only public admiration for being.

Photojournalists demand fame for their coverage of revolution,

but what for their subject matter?

I want to demand justice out of my world,

which perishes from laziness and violence,

so many heavy bodies clipping sidewalk lines,

staring corpses demanding that their cause be seen.

I want to demand like a thirsty flower being satisfied by rain,

or an enlightened prophet after his fast, not because we deserve resolve,

but because to crave it for our fellow man is to love them.

Written in honor of my dear friend Jordan B.

Photograph courtesy of Katie Oostman.