Sometime before the land turned away from light

The wind in the wild mustard slowed
The sun, being where is always is, the moon too
Twilight and moonrise were in me.

Something small and quick sprang and ran.
The long grass bent as I watched the urge to chase
Corner and kill rise and fall inside me.

A hawk tucked wings, stooped from a great height
Was high in the air again, a ground squirrel in its claws–
The life of a large snake touched me, I watched

From grass to rock, sand on the road to sage
I heard the dry hiss where a lizard whipped out.
The serpent, licking the air with a pronged tongue

Coiled under a cactus tree, sang a warning–
This was no tree of knowledge, the rattler
Untouched by good or evil, is pure, perfectly pure.

I closed my eyes, sound and light opened the third eye
I saw a human face, half gleaming reptilian green
Half clear compassionate blue– There were no words,

No thought, I moved forward and became that face.


To My Mexican American Neighbors

The long hours of your drinking are now the short hours of my sleep.
Sleep covers me with black sheets
but your latino voices startle my ears.
I would cry out the window, ¡Cállate!, but civility prevents me.
So amigos, I still up with you
Hearing the riot of your banter
Pretending I’m a writer.
Have you so many considerations keeping you from calm dreams
Or is it a lady that stirs you
Keeping your tongues wagging
into the moonlit morning?
It is true, the young believe they will live forever, talk forever
Of conquest, business and love
Yes, they will live forever
But will they learn to love their neighbor?
I am not so old, but tonight I am in an old man’s body
With an old man’s longing for peace
Wishing I could sleep, sleep forever
While beyond my window
A mockingbird laughs at me, the moon falls to the west
Falling as I should be, word by word, laugh by laugh, into dreams.