The death of a moon cowboy

I am a somewhat-youth with ideas and thoughts and too many dreams that sometimes overflow as these little dribblings from my fingertips. I guess you can try to collect and capture them.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The valley clean

I know this spring snow,
wet and thick and clinging
like armor on everything it coats.
The slick roads surprise us--
we've forgotten how to drive in snow.
The moon's a pale, waning smirk,
almost lost among
the floating turmoil in the sky.
The mountains are white as bone,
a landscape of hips and teeth and knuckles.
Low clouds form another range,
the same dead-white color,
spun off where mountain meets valley
like estranged cousins.
A fortress of winter encircles us,
an icy crown tightens over our heads.

By late morning the sky blossoms,
the sun emerges from its cloak
and sweeps
the valley clean.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When I first met your family

I took the wrong turn, the one
that leads to your grandparents' house.
So I drove through their place
in fear of motion detection,
and made it back around to where your
dirt road branches.
I came out into that circle driveway,
that clearing in the forest
jailed in by pine,
confined by trees and brush on all sides--
except the frame of a house
hovering over a valley to the east.
A strange and perfect place
I couldn't have pictured.

Your family was watching TV
downstairs, the room dark,
lit only by the changing scenes.
They sat scattered on the couches;
we stood there together, alone,
in the blackness by the stairs.
Your parents told me to have you back by eleven.
It was already after nine--
I think you made it safely back inside
by five.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


The streets are empty
like the pews on Saturday.
My scuffed dress shoes sound
hollow against the parking lot asphalt;
they tick-tock rhythmically,
led by my pendulum legs.

The night's faint snowfall disappeared
when the meek heat of the early-March sun
crested the mountains.
The sky is bright, the wind subtle but piercing;
dead trees awaken quietly,
buds pushing from their bare branches.

Winter lifts from the landscape--
its skirt of snow pulls back,
revealing naked mountain thighs.

My own mind also thaws--
my dreams and thoughts expand, large and swollen
like hot-air balloons,
rising up and high toward the blooming sun,
to fly forever
or melt and join Icarus.

I step up three concrete steps
into the porchway shadow.
I look over the familiar whitewashed door,
raw metal exposed under large scratches
left by couches or children.
I put my hand to the dull golden doorknob--
cold from the air of the changing season--
and turn.


I have mixed feelings about shoveling snow.
Sure it clears the walkways and
makes journeying outside
a less obstructed experience.

But it tears apart the plane of snow,
creates rifts where none were intended.
It's like a snowplow barreling down an interstate,
pragmatic and determined.

Plus, when winter warms a little and the
ice layers loosen near the sidewalk edges
(and rakes and buckets emerge from the forgotten lawn),
shoveling sends heaps of soiled cakes of ice
onto the otherwise angelic, egg-white land.

I guess I'd rather just walk through it all--
there's a thrill in making the first imprints in
new snow,
like a butterknife gouging into fresh peanut butter.
I'd rather slip and fall,
rather traipse the mess
into the house.
Instead of shoveling,
I'd rather get my feet wet.