Snapshot: On Finding An Abandoned Stall in the Desert (Revised)

There was a final time: the stall set out,
With jewelry and fabrics in a line —
The next day, and thereafter then, no more;
No more, and soon, no one with memory
To paint in images or words the scene
That once was daily, year on year on year.

The mundane, the quotidian: our lives,
Not big events, but habits of our days,
They soon lie empty on a sandy waste —
The firebird heads into the unknown,
High o’er the mountains, just past where we see,
To leave behind our stalls for someone else

Prize, Price, and Prying Eyes

Who were those people anymore to tell her what to do?
She rang the changes as she felt inclined —
What was this bit of foolishness that they said was ‘the true’?
She would not by their rules be so defined —

She set out to reclaim her self;
To live with feeling, and to feel her way.
She needed no permission slip
And took on love as a bioassay —

For she would claim the prize, and be the prize.
The price was jealous talk, and prying eyes,
But all that social nonsense was just so:
It would not shape where she would play, or go.

I wandered into her when I was young,
A part of her experimental phase.
She gave me keys, then took each slowly back,
A few short nights that felt like holidays,

Then I was pushed aside
As she went on for more
A boat with only one
Left stranded on the shore

She went away
I heard the news
Of someone else
She deigned to choose –

But I would not speak ill of her:
There were no lies, no conscious work to hurt.
So I was a philosopher,
I’d my own life to live, to reassert —

Relationships are merely games for those who choose to play them:
And yes, there will be costs, but many merely, simply pay them.
It might feel less than human, but, I did feel human there for just awhile.
For some, amid the storms, find out that they, indeed, become a rheophile —

What moral is there now to this, you say?
Just this: we don’t control the sun or seasons,
And much that happens to us isn’t in us,
For other humans have their sundry reasons
To live and love as they see fit, and when —
And we can only live life now,
Not then

Fading, Fading

The days are fading, fading into smoke;
I try, but I can’t hold them in my hands.
The fire’s gone, there’s nothing left to stoke,
Just empty parking lots, and barren lands —

The days are turning, burning into mist;
With just a shimmer there, or glimmer here —
The mill of time, that turns our loves to grist,
And fads, like life, that up and


Mine Tailings

[Photo is an aerial view of mine tailings near Green Valley, Arizona.]

Cattle grazing, barley growing,
Miners of our metal digging,
All these things we have but
Take as granted

Hogs are lazing, semis going,
Workers in the heat are swigging,
Things we know must happen:
Seeds are planted

By those urbanites despise.
So separated are we
From all or much that makes up
Our humanity

Past some mounds of dirt I’m driving:
Copper mines that once were thriving,
Maybe in my dwelling, now,
Or yours —

All of us, connected, really,
And we’d think of it, ideally,
If our minds could get beyond
Our doors

Looking All The Way Back

It all makes sense,
But only as a whole:
She shaped her choices
Playing at a role,
A role she learned
When very, very young,
Upon which, since,
A framework has been hung —-

The grownup doesn’t see
The child’s choice,
Ensuant interplay
With girls and boys;
Relationships, and why
Bad things felt right —-
The changing of, that takes
A steady light.

If failure is a teacher,
Yes, we learn:
And though we feel
Destructive or inept,
We have to learn our
Young self to accept,
The first step in forgiveness is
Our turn.

The year grows old,
But she’s still looking back
To find the spot where
She got off the track,
Because, she knows,
That “settling” is not
A trap in which
She is forever

And though it seems
A marathon, a climb —
When we untangle knots,
It just takes