Campsite Haiku

seeing jackrabbits
come right into the campsite
I belch, they scatter

~

infrequent raindrops
one here, now one over there
almost like weather

~

everything is damp
mosquitoes buzz in my ear
happy misery

~

a persistent rain
the wiper blades tilt and swoon
no birding today

Out camping in the Texas Hill Country until next week. It is raining today. I’m parked by the ranger’s station to leach some wifi signal. Don’t let the world go crazy without me.

Fledgling

fledgling Blue Jay
seems bewildered to be
in the world, what
a peculiar urge

to leave the nest, without
a second thought
to do, and do and rest

in a place where
every moment is
a kind of birth canal
squeezing us out, into
the next, and for what

—to do our best


Young Blue Jay photographed June 28th, 2018, in Galveston, TX where they are said to be somewhat rare.

Smile

My mood to you may seem quite vile
But listen to me, stay a while
I’m nothing like that crocodile
A villain, though he wears a smile

(A pair of alligators at Anahuac National Wildlife Reserve, March 2018.)

Peace, Break Thee Off

The Texas live oak sheds in the Spring
In June you’ll hear me raking in the street
The rot underneath the mat already composting
Awakened by a metallic scraping, but now

A crew with weed-eaters, whining like
Perfectionists, lawn mowers taming the wild
A chainsaw loath to start, sputters
Undoing the hackneyed silence

Oh, prattle on about how great
Back in the day, the silence used to be
By the house cat’s vacated sun-trap
In the porches of our once-napping ears

Texanah

in the North where
the beauty wears magnificent trees
and glacial rock sculptures
they still have to borrow sky
from Texas, Texas is nine parts sky
and blanketing above, that
cloud-boil, above the cities too
where the deer trails are paved
is not a place, not kept, not held, no vault
an Olympic tangle of mind and air
roads chalkline straight
tide pools French-curve shallow
horizon a dazzling shaft of lightsaber
and skylight so thick
you could build a house on it
and think about retiring

Harvey

they express to us often
our customers, that their relationship
to books is sacred

and I don’t push my view
that it is the right to publish
and read freely that is sacred

it’s their business
if they want to practice idolatry
or view their shelves as altars

the books themselves are
no more durable than the
knuckle skin

of a man heaving soaking
wet books by the boxfull
into a dumpster

but, we do understand
these bound signatures are
in fact the medium

of something more potent
than mere talk, or knowledge
that has never been shared

and not just objects
to be bought and sold
by jaded, heartless merchants


I work at the used book store in Galveston, Texas, where our neighbors on the mainland to the North have been flooded catastrophically by a week of unrelenting, unimaginable rain. We got enough water in the store to ruin some of our used stock, and were back up and running a day later. Can’t stop thinking about our big sister Houston, and her suffering right now.

Hurricane Harvey, 2017