New Poems

Praying for Peace

Each blade
of this grassy slope
is precious at this and every hour,
and the shade
of dark evergreens
is cherished as the sun dips low.

Traffic free-flows by,
everyone in the fast lane.
A fire engine sirens past,
and I know how lucky
we are that it is not racing
to the aftermath of a bomb blast.

So what is the prayer?
The simplest is that others
may sit in their own shady space --
in the dust of Darfur,
in Baghdad, Israel, Kandahar, Palestine --
and be safe and at home as they pray in peace.

          for David Leon

Lifting the light, clouds tower above clear unseeing eyes.
Let me introduce you, infant with clear unseeing eyes.

What focus can be found in opaque, uncensored darkness? 
The halo, the aureole attracts near unseeing eyes.

A scrim, though filmy as innocence, hints at mystery. 
Let us lullaby to sleep the weary unseeing eyes.

Our ancient tribes, our modern brothers—we know, but disown. 
At the borders, ignorance meets fear in unseeing eyes.

Protect our future, fragile as a baby’s fontanel.
The seventh generation needs a seer’s far-seeing eyes. 

                    Published in
Friends Bulletin and New Century North American Poets

The Desert:  107° on Mother's Day

Oh, but it's a dry heat!  The chorus repeats
like the continuous murmur of mourning doves
rustling to rest in palm trees.  With a gasp and a sigh
we step out into the oven, praying for mercy.

A dry heat, yes!  You could flick a flint
against the wind, ignite this basin of air
between the Catalinas, the Tucson and
Rincon mountains.  Such a tumbleweed of fire

would sear the desert and boil the ocean.
In this tinder-dry air a snap of the fingers
is enough to make a cholla cactus jump,
a snakeskin rattle down the arroyo.


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