Storm mallets on a flat roof wake me
into a surprise of being.
Outside this undraped window, thousands
of raindrops wind-blown orange through streetlight
become streams braided from gutters to corner pools.
Lone freight train rolling over creosote ties,
an engineer horns his way through the liquid dark.
Hungry to see his aging face in a dawn lit mirror
he palms a rain-soaked cloth brow to chin.
Storm drums his iron hut, face led
by a bright lamp on wet tracks,
this heavy rain waxed red and white
by the crossing gates and marquees of small towns.
Wet antlers between blue spruce,
the quick smoldered gleams of animal eyes
Crows flying above gray ribbons
of tree-threaded fog
like the followers of Judas
skirting shadow edge.
Sun-rise bends twilight
as she carries waking insights
onto a dune trail.
Out from behind breath-fogged glass
and striding face-first into salted wind,
her unstrung rosary of simple thoughts
laid along a tide-line of agates.
Sun slants rainbow wave spray.
At 7 months, her ribs are tuning forks
ocean thrown gust a coarse brush
through her thick black hair.
Her breath wrapped in a yellow sarong of light,
she turns east, back into the park,
en route to her studio,
easel, fresh canvas,
carrying opals of worship laced inside
the contours of her belly.
Stems of Wild Beauty
She examines her hands
in a pre-birdsong moment,
ignition key burning
in a jeans pocket.
The salt-washed tendons
of her brush-hand scribe
anatomies of sun,
bone to pearled bone,
being the live church she carries.
Angle-cut stems of wild beauty
in a windowsill vase,
she approaches her easel,
fresh canvas readied, a pyramid of dreams
dissolving into colors, soon brushed
across this sail.
Insights unfold beyond
the wishbones of wants.
Opened wings drying
above rock strata,
she’s focused on what blooms,
brush-tip carrying a bead of dark blue.
Red Gauze of an April Sunset
Day-dream small windows, sun slats crossing
a wood floor to her statue, his eyes steadied
that instant by marble in her artist’s reach,
a remedy for the soul vertigoes delivered
daily cubicle to cubicle. He steps out
onto their second floor porch and stretches
his arms below the red gauze of an April sunset,
ears following a train wailing towards
her factory, her crew soon taking
their first break, knotted shoulders ready for
the liquid songs of robins. Her legs, rippled hints
of a jazz dancer’s spine, jut out of a denim skirt
and on into mud-crusted boots in the mantle photo,
both dogs claiming one stick, small town background.
No jobs there. This sky dropping red and saffron robes,
dusk stumbles across lanes with one eye open
as happy hour mimes the day-shift’s truncated
ballets. Soon, city night will glimmer with strings
of sodium pearls, marquee and back porch lights.
They all will pile into the car and go idle outside
a factory gate, late buses being too dangerous.
Having shortened an Oregon winter with their passion,
sleeping back-to-back then turning, she’ll be sharing
baby photos with her co-workers in 6 months.