The Treasure

Golden leaves
That freckle tree branches
Have skipped and scattered
Autumn ground
Like stained glass fragments
Tracing truths.

Down vest
Over blue-flanneled chest,
Your dark soles
Crunch the sound
Of hard leaves into soft ground.

You watch the trees
Being dried and stripped;
The acorn under your foot
Scatters it’s brokenness:

A holy seed;
A secret promise.

The wind breathes yellow
Over your face,
Through branches bared:
“It is good.
It is broken with care.”

The Cowboy

You wade through swampland

without insulated boots;

the parasitic silt and black liquid glass

soaks into crusted jeans, as you choose.

 

There’s a fascinating you find

in being intimate with grime–

the water peels past your skin

and your soul whispers “holy.”

 

So. You spend your days

charting slime and specimens,

reveling at microscopic pincers, wriggling appendages…

at the artfulness of ugliness

and just how delicately it crawls under our skin.

The Badger

I’ve written a series of poems as gifts about/for dear friends, and have decided to gradually post them here. The poems are partly inspired by the word-origins and meanings of the names involved. This one was partially inspired by medieval legends about badgers as intelligent mythical creatures that would burrow beneath mountains.

Legend goes that in a darker age
when men killed myths for power,
when dwarves killed men for gold,
the Badger still burrowed between mountain stones
great labyrinths to hide his treasures,
great puzzles to trick his foes.

Cleverer than the felicitous fox–
the Badger never forgave whenever he forgot.
Lo, to remember his accidental unawares,
he’d brand his own flesh, cut a lock of his hair,
and tuck it into rocky nodes:

because the earth houses memories
beneath its skin like bones;
layers of truth and years of mirth
sewn into strips of red clay and black dirt.