When You Can’t Be Broken

How many times have you tried to put the saddle on? cant-be-broken

How many times have you leapt onto your own back

and grabbed yourself around the neck,

kicking and digging into your sides

with spurs the size of dinner plates?

None of this has worked. The years go by

like the cedars you love to run past.

The dust clouds erupting beneath you

have been mixing with your sweat.

You are covered with mud

and breathing hard.

Would you have it any other way?

Did you want the reins and the stable?

Did you hunger for the corn from the trough?

Burn the saddle, tear down the barn,

rip up the fences, admit

you can’t be broken, and run.

Flicker and Flash

ghostOne year, I spent the summer writing love notes to an invisible woman,

jotting them down on sticky squares of paper at different times

and posting them in different places,

uncertain about the habits of a person you can never quite see.

I looked for signs but never found confirmation,

was never quite sure if she’d read them

or if she’d even noticed them,

but hoped while wondering if my words

had power to make the invisible visible again.

I imagined her fading in as she read the first,

fading out as she moved to the next,

and running, desperate to read them all,

from one note to another, faster and faster,

 until she flickered quick and bright.

Always out of sight, she faded even further

and my thoughts moved on to other things,

but I know that just a flash of white

would’ve sent me carpeting the floors and

papering the walls with the silly, yellow things.

Plant Your Feet

Plant Your Feet

Plant your feet,
prune all distractions,
pull all the weeds,
the games, the lies, and the pretense.

Scoop up the bullshit,
load it in a wheelbarrow,
and use it for what it is:
fertilizer, sustenance, and plant food.

Water yourself.
Let yourself drink sunlight.

Cover yourself
when the frost comes,
when the world starts to freeze
and the wind turns mean.
This is a temporary cold front.

Be ready for the thaw
when the sun breaks free
and the light comes to earth
searching for leaves to land on.

Then stretch out your arms and grow branches.

But first, you have to plant your feet.

The Various Ways of Ideas

various ideasSome ideas slip beneath the covers
and tell you stories as you drift asleep.

Others pinch and slap and kick you,
demanding that you get up, get up.

Then there are those that accost you,
right in the middle of the cross walk,
as you make your way from curb to curb.

And one day,
while you’re browsing the book shelves
and holding a steaming Styrofoam cupful
of Mocha Loco Whats-it-to-ya,
you’ll look up and see one looking back at you
through an open space in an eye level shelf
in the bargain section where they keep all the good stuff.

And, oh, those eyes. 
They’ll flutter and pop,
and you’ll see that knowing grin,
and you can bet your bottom dollar

that this one is dangerous.