exodus

birds march grandly

bright blue-breasted bird
with a laughable mohawk
jumps from branch to branch
to branch to branch to branch
to branch to branch to branch
to branch to branch.
stopityouidiotcantyouseewhatyouredoing!!
up the worn steps i go
as mechanically as the jumping bird.
i carry an outsized valise
that worsens the climb.
gears turn
a breeze dutifully blows
trees waver and rustle.
not fooling me!
Minutes are on the march,
a dusty endless column of the dispossessed,
they trudge along with their carpets and pans
one turns to me in passing
and says matter-of-factly
“your village is emptying
and there is naught to do.”

Shave the Earth! Redux!

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Another Earth Day come to chastise us; a great pageant of patchouli-scented goodwill and self-congratulation. And what a sight! Several acres of innocent grass trampled and strewn with non-biodegradable trash, gangs of roving dreadlocks, bean bag jugglers, admirably unbathed artisans, glassy-eyed botanists, an enormous blinking music main stage with the evident carbon footprint of a leviathan, little electric cars sparkling in blanched, 13 billion-year-old sunlight. You have to plug them into smokestacks to charge the batteries, you know. Never mind.  This dumb rock has been turning forever, spat out of a hot singularity, drenched with steaming rain, then germs, then trilobites, then tax attorneys; this described without irony as an ‘ascent’. It just takes time. The heavens have seen all this before. We can’t Kill the Planet. It was stone dead once already and still patiently managed to turn a smattering of amino acids into Cate Blanchett. The Earth will be fine, dear little nincompoops. Our efforts to rescue Mother Earth are valiant and maybe even noble, our blinkered little race doomed, but lightly. Lightly doomed. Not our fault. It’s a cycle. You could kill the planet down to the bare bedrock and in 7 billion years you’ll have Ms. Blanchett again. Our little cars and plastic bottles aren’t sealing any doom but our own. Yes, eventually we’ll be shaved off like whiskers. We won’t go out with a bang or a whimper. We’ll just exhaustedly hit the road some eon hence, pack our recyclable bags and hemp pajamas and give it all back to the patient, seemingly emotionless bugs. They’ve been waiting. Every time we triumphantly step on one it goes down grinning.

a cloud of gnats in summer air

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a cloud of gnats in summer air
transfixed I watch them gather there
they do not spin and will not toil
these laggards make my blood to boil

night birds invade a fragrant clearing
their evensong offends my hearing
the pines a twilight belvedere
o humvee smash me out of here

a millipede, a leaping stag
the crawly one will make me gag
the other one I’ll tranquilize
and give him beveled glass for eyes

school of fish in a mountain lake
I pray thee lord their souls to take
I pray then give the flesh to me
I’ll slit them till there’s naught to see

the lord hath given us dominion
rear sight elevation pinion
trigger guard, extractor spring
lift up our hearts in firing.

a fox asleep in honeyed sun
awakens my vacation gun
the violets hearing no report
are painted by my day of sport

unlettered man on jungle path
I offer you a bubble bath
some Western Civ will salve your soul
and see you to the Super Bowl

a velvet dark has fallen full
as lovely as a tractor pull
the fire throws a wondrous light
that underscores your underbite

Let’s contemplate the vault of stars
and ravish all our candy bars
this night we dream, the world renews
a bear craps in our hiking shoes.