Dumpster Divers Behind Pizza Pie Cafe

blackbirds eat pizza

Instead of four and twenty blackbirds

singing to the queen,

four fledgling blackbirds

vie for pizza pie.

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Vision of Spring

 

Castle rocks creek with sun

On the first day of April,

Ariel sat by a stream,

her honey-colored

hair spilling onto

the blue ocean of her shirt.

 

Her head tilted sweetly

as she read The Last Song

by Nicholas Sparks–

her fuchsia Mongoose bike

abandoned on the path.

 

She might have been an ordinary girl.

 

Dance of the Deciduous

dancing trees

Will you dance? says she, her arms upraised in pleasing grace.

A waltz? says he, as he bows his head a trace.

And so they do the pas de deux through March and April too.

 

Phalarope

Phalarope

Phalarope on the Camas Prairie in Idaho (May 2015)

Glide, slide,
rapier-billed beauty,
flaunt the chic “Z”
adorning your neck.

Spin, spin
cinnamon down,
ripple the water
from here to Peru.

Turn, turn,
ballerina bird,
conjure your prey
from the bowels of the earth.

Churn, churn,
cast a spell—
images of Patagonia
in your pirate eye.

Place of Deep Healing

 

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Mist-drenched,

she peers through falls—

aboriginal woman

saluting creation.

 

Cell phones and Facebook

recede, insignificant,

as riotous, rushing water

explodes over the rim.

 

Flaming arrows pierce façade–

bullets from the sun,

ricocheting diamonds

on the dripping canyon wall.

 

Cynicism evaporates,

floats out with the spray,

leaving vulnerability in this

small spot of greenness,

 

the place of “deep healing

[from which] we venture forth.”1

 

1 Ling-yun, Hsieh. “Climbing Green-Cliff Mountain in Yung-chia,” trans. David Hinton. Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China (New York: New Directions, 2002) 23.

Provident Living

squirrel with seed

On the first frigid day of fall

two squirrels scavenge

for nuts and seeds in the

lightly falling snow.

 

Why don’t they cozy up

in their squirrel hole

as soon as the weather

turns frosty?

 

How do they know

they should glean

before they dip

into their winter supply?

 

Do squirrel mothers

teach their children

the difference between

convenience and necessity?

Craters of the Moon

IMG_5908

As we exclaim over a perfect breadcrust bomb

and walk past lava balloons and rock popcorn,

skirt cinder cones and blocks rafted

into place by boiling lava,

as we marvel at blue dragon lava

glinting in the autumn sun

and carefully pick our way

across thin-crusted shelly pahoehoe (1),

we wonder why God created a wasteland

where fire and brimstone belched from the earth,

where verdant landscapes became vast tracks

of ropy, twisted, brittle rock,

where people come to gawk but not to live,

where kipukas (2) bespeak God’s promise of

“beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning”(3).


  1. pahoehoe: smooth, ropy, or billowy lava
  2. kipuka: islands of vegetation
  3. Isaiah 61:3

Mirage

ritter island water plants

On a perfectly sunny day

pelicans preen on a rock

and great blue herons

lift aloft their lanky bodies

as water cascades down

Minnie Miller Falls

into the Snake River.

Sweat trickles down our backs

as we ply our paddles

in the gently flowing water,

trying to avoid the undulating

hair of the water nymphs

whose outstretched arms

reach for our paddles

to pull us into an iridescent

underwater world

where they can shackle us with vines

and keep us as conversation pieces

in their subaquatic realm.

 

Succulence

Mango by absolute_botany

Poetry tastes best when it’s mangos—

not Jonathons or red delicious,

but mangos scored in diagonals

and sucked from the skin.

Unheard Messages

Image

Shoshone Falls, Idaho

How can they hear God’s voice

in the rushing water of the falls

or see the elegance of his script

as they gaze at goldenrod–

with their earbuds in and their eyes cast down?

 

How can they feel His love

in the caress of cooling winds

or sense the soothing balm of pardon

when they turn to face the sun–

with their earbuds in and their eyes cast down?