lyrics to various songs

Ah the Ancient Way

Annika the anchorite

Annika the anchorite spoke atop the stump to a conference of forest creatures.

"I am not of the wild, oh ye dank and heaving. Bound to my culture, a cripple sucked to many teats, I live in metaphor."

She wavered as the circling treetops let stars come pouring in. An elegant doe trod lightly in to dance with her.

"Comprehensive understanding of medicine is my flesh, a delicate soft vision my family."

She pleaded til morning rose when no more a pious simpleton sang throatily into the noise of beak and fang over foot and wing, no. In her place, with eyes quick but cloudy, a squirrel shook its body twice before carried away by force of assembled spirits.

The woods are empty now except for me, slow to grasp the absence of the place, settled on a stump in flickering sunrise through the trees again.

mud man

two tender children unattended
walk in sunshine after rain
the puddle-mud is thick as silver
upon your face a second skin

I'm a mud man
you're a mud man, too
let the mud man see himself

one reflective skin between us all
see yourself in myself seeing you

I'm a mud man
you're a mud man, too
let the mud man see himself

What is this road?

You walk into the soles of your shoes through tree tunnels touching unwanted, clearing to find the old stone circle cracking in frozen rain, druids long since wandered into mental burdens. Drop pack heavy outside the ring, sky smeared the ancient way, now get the cup and dagger.

Weakly when the night ends wander home, path brightly under cloud of fireflies, slip into the silence of your heart, stumbling in the unrhythming of love sonnets forgottening.

in Yellowstone Park

in Yellowstone Park a dog saw a hot spring
thought it a pool to play in

the woman he was with leapt in after him
into the deep blue boiling pool

and as their motor-functioning began to break down
he must have faded to an image looking back up to her
through the clear and the darkening blue, the Question in his eyes

I have found something here
Shall we look at it together?

The Hummingbirds and the Honeybees

The Hummingbirds and the Honeybees

The Honeybirds and the Hummingbees and the sand swirls all round

An entire day passes

What reason, within, judges me against my will?

Trap of wonder tightly drawn around the world

Skymachines bony-finger Cupid’s cuddle clouds

This unpopulated tract of unkempt scrub makes a maltreated hideout for many a loosed miscontent I’m sure

Invasion of Flowers

Sit in the burnt remnant smoldering
Flamethirsty crumbling unencumbered

The days and ashes shuffle in the wind
What's that hanging from a limb across the way?

The patterns of the people last
In colors through the char
The way they used to laugh
Rushes waving in the yard

Gaze fondly at the weapon in your hand
A piece of steel bent to an ungainly shape by the fire
The wreck of lives etching its inscription
Now, see flower-vine tendrils spiral forth
Petals reckoning through the rubble

Twine the person in this pedestal
Endless flower fascination
Let color be unsteadfast
Shine past imagination

Garden Path

It was raining up above the trees and ghost-making mist moved in clumps over shivering hollows of us lost but never wanting to go home where all the colors are unvariegated and all the wood unmossed.

There was a cave down below the trees and rocks for tables rested easily on a dirt floor we pawed lightly in the unmistakable moment of friendship as the night drew in around the stars.

ice floe

in these times
we are lost
like rabbits
on an ice floe

we are lost
in this time
like rabbits
on an ice floe
and we don't know
that it is cold
and the water does flow

we are lost
like rabbits
swimming in
the gulf of mexico
looking for
that line of the shore
where they might live again

love- and logicsongs

rare birds

ice cracks cross the window into your home
turned pale orange flickering the eyes on the wall
birdsong stuck in summer

put things away
touch each one
warm in the drawer

love is not a common thing
rare birds set down on a branch one day
sing quiet with one voice

coals drift into themselves
let them settle down
settle down
settle down

santa clara clarita

she lives in this house over there
with dogs and wildflowers
drags her wagon down the grocery street
she knows noone but herself, and she's not telling

he sits on the bench with his pencil scratch scratch scratch
words like irons' hot steam
watch the world wheeling by
watch the world rattle by

today is her birthday, she's got her apple dress on
there's a lilt in her step, and no wagon
it's his birthday too, he's got his apple dress on
leaning back with eyes shut

home from fantastic voyage

home from fantastic voyage
same old rats
same old cupboards
just dusty

gillespie dam

washed out, gillespie dam stands hulking
arching concrete scrawled with charred branches
i'll protect this place, fight dogs and desperadoes
since my friends, it seems, all fear me

why is the origin of light so dark?

i consider a tree
lightning too
run tree run
i love you
here comes the sun
grow tree grow
you soon will die
i soon will know

why do we try
to live alone?
oh hollow tree
make you my home

it's like darkness

it's like darkness in the windows hanging on the wall of your childhood home
darkness in blinking eyes
darkness in a sky that was light just an hour ago
words hanging in air hanging in space hanging in time
i feel out there when i reach my hands out
i feel it's like cotton and thunder and wavering eyes
it's like darkness in the rut of a wagon wheel on an old old trail going where no no wheel's rolling on
it's like darkness

i'll speak to you someday - restless dirt

I'll speak to you someday in mountain air
with morning-gilded snow-tipt overseers
you are the home of my heart that beaten unbeaten beating thing
I carry like a lantern whose beam I followed there
whose dark I must ignore

these trees the golden fading into green
swaying wind-whisped cracking count the years
when the words come, will they say
the weak and whining plaintive pleading loneliness
of leaves left crackling into dust on the fading forest floor?

the golden sun carressing crags returns
wistful roots of stone let go their fears
your silence is the silence of the dead
the never-born the deep and undisturbed
unhearing hidden hot and heaving earth of person in its core

thunder cut my night-time reverie
bewet my fire with lightning cold and tears

the restless dirt and ache of matted fur
entanglements with life's past forest floors
sedimented choices taken when unsure
dark and vanishing hallway of unopened doors

living in desert time

color-faded cactus flowers scatter, creek-water rock-ripples shine
earth armor ridges beckon, make a heart-weak cripple climb
jumping cholla touches dog-paw, hear her aching miserable crying
hackberry sunset, limping home in shaky triple time

freeway brake lights blinding, just another vehicle fire
downtown people dress up, fess up, just another tricky liar
I trust my true love that she loves me, the rest are fickle mimes
edge of asphalt edge of gravel, walk the dark dark miracle mile

I'll believe into the superstitions, an honest friend was never mine
the stars don't twinkle with my eyes shut, they strike a pleasant chime
I held a piece of wind once, and within a feather flying
I can't count the hours for years, I'm living in desert time

half-dead junipers hold the hillside, nighttime dies that day survives
up scree scrambling stay in place, kick up dust in paradise
I found a flower in an empty puddle, a sad face with caring eyes
across the holler 'yotees howl, the all-consumed-with-daring die

mother nature doesn't hear me, caught up in mumbled nursery rhymes
too young to notice a cool stare, too old to watch for worsening times
the dead or dying quicken prayerful, hope to be the first in line
the roads are flooded, drown the engine, walk back rainstorm blurring eyes

blood of Christ electric pain, the heart can't lift a heavy mind
sky collapses into dust, God almighty weather fine
the wind can't wait for the weak, oh well it's just when heaven sighs
preachers stay up wakeful, fearful, I'm living in desert time

death-holy desert holly wavers, sharp and dry and bleak and white
Eureka dunes drone aching tunes, singing sinking ankle high
Joshua knows the joke's on him, still waits as winter takes its time
feetprint 'roo rats prowl the lowlands, ogres roam the Racetrack Playa

Badwater road as straight as hell, killer turn every eighty miles
hot dog spinach wonderbread, Do Say Think and Make me try
a taste can end a week of fasting, a life of love in a day denied
epiphanies are disasters, all sacred revelations die

what if the wilderness never leaves? what if heartbreak never hides?
what of old wives lost wandering in grief? what if evil men survive?
what of the searching eyes which without trying mesmerize?
what if I'm not of this world? what if I'm living in desert time?

Raised By Robots

I was raised by robots
I didn't know I could think
by myself

I heard a little fuzz in my brain
and my pain began
and if I wouldn't ever light up
I'd feel better
What can I do?
You turn me on

Why must I
be stuck in this little chassis
by myself?

Electronic switching is my friend
I'll send a signal to the end
As my light emitting diodes flicker
I'll snicker
Static on my mind

I'll send my soul
Through that hole in the wall

Raised by robots
I didn't know I could think
of myself

There's One Airplane in the Sky

Live in the ground
with batteries and cans
grow bitter vegetables
in cactuses and sand

A rabbit and a dog
a carrot or a bone
throw a stick into the dark
or lose yourself in stone

There's three airplanes in the sky
There's three airplanes in the sky
They fly so very high
You can see them if you try

Asphalt and cement
stretched across the line
The magic marker man in black
in his yellow sign

Kick the pebble down
Watch it to the floor
"Rumours" on the radio
Driving to the store

There's two airplanes in the sky
There's two airplanes in the sky
They fly so very high
You can see them if you try

There's someone up there
up in the air
I'm waiting for her
in my rocking chair
Sitting on the porch

There's one airplane in the sky
There's one airplane in the sky
It flies so very high
You can see it if you try


Sweep the dirt
Listen to the Clash
Smoke just one last cigarette
and hide your head in the trash

There's no airplanes in the sky
There's no airplanes in the sky
They fly so very high
You can see them if you try

Waiting for the Dust to Settle

Prometheus was tarred and feathered
for teaching us the ways of heaven
and though we never learn
he still has to burn

Tied to a rock, alone
Thinking of home

He's waiting for the dust to settle
for someone else to test his mettle
and take a human form

Kid was on the road to ruin
til someone taught her how to do it
and now she's lying there
trying to feel scared
or foolish

Tied to a rock, alone

She's waiting for the dust to settle
a flower wasting paper petals
that the wind has torn

My tablecloth is cracked and brittle
from checkerboarded paradiddles
I'd rather hit a drum
and then instead of hum
you'd fiddle

Waiting for the dust to settle
a piece of rusting metal
sitting through a storm


I'm losing my mind again
It's already gone, gone gone gone

I want to know
what step to take
in a rustle of leaves
drip so slow

I'm losing my friends again
They're already gone, gone gone gone

I want to be
right next to you
in a bus in the park
drive so slow

I'm losing my hope again
It's already gone, gone gone gone

I want to find
a can of dimes
unrusted and clean

It's Rusty

It's rusty
but it'll still go
it's springs popping, cranks creaking, oil leaking
lamps all burnt out
It's rusty
but it'll still go

It's rusty
but it still flows
it's factory dumped, chemical spill, marshes dead,
dry fish don't swim anymore
It's rusty
but it still flows

It's rusty
but it's still that song you used to know
it's chords inverted, words misinterpreted
chorus melody sung in the verse
It's rusty
but it's still that song you know

People live together
People live together
People live together
People live together

Hedge Maze

Hedge maze
Crunch gravel
Laces untied
Smooth cement
Fingers in the holes

She smacked her boy
His lips curled open

Apple-pattern pleats
White socks, black shoes

But where am I?
My mother gone
Run, stop, turn, run

The sobbing boy
His mother's face
Frowns, looks, smiles,
Sends me home


A truck in a meadow
Scoops dirt, wheels clack to the mound
Fingers bleed sometimes
Mother has some stuff

"No, I don't know where he is
I think he went to town"

"I like mustard"
Rug on the stairs, squish toes

Reverse-binoculars the magnolia tree

Cesar Chavez Park (Good Flavors)

A crust of Wonder wheat
crumbles off its slice
Ducks cross from lawn to pond
The heat waves

Choking pits can't reach
But stretch their smearing eyes
The rope that helps to understand

Scattered sons and daughters
Playing "Off to War"
Tell each other when to die
Or be saved

Drumbeats dim the water
With trumpets four and four
The bajo-sexto singer tries
To think of things to crave

Picnic table dwellers
Wait until the dark
To wash or fight or start to dream
Or misbehave

Ice-cream fortune-tellers
Push their glowing carts
Mumble nonsense in-between
Good flavors

This bench is getting cold
And it's hard and my bones are old

I Watched a Grey Doggie

I watched a grey doggie on the rockslide out back
of the cabin yesterday when you wanted to pack
It was still as the sculptures you make when we're home
It whistled and whimpered like it was left alone

Oh Father the wind sounded like someone sighing
Why oh why why-o was that coyote crying

That grey doggie turned its nose to the dust
coming over the ridge, where you taught me to trust
It followed the path that you told me you made
It paced and it pawed like it felt afraid

Oh Father the shadows stretched out like people falling
Who oh who who-o was that coyote calling

Booo-yip! Booo-yip! Booo...

That doggie layed down sillouhetted in blue
on the spot where you told me what little you knew
It faded to darkness scattered with stars
It sparkled and sputtered like it came from afar

Oh Father the moon rose up like people hoping
Where oh where where-o is that coyote loping
And why oh why why-o is that coyote crying

Booo-yip. Booo-yip.

I watched a grey doggie on the rockslide out back.

Freedom (Woody's Song)


I'm so sick of this cage
I can't stand the smell
And if one more dog barks


I'm so sick of these walks
I know it all too well
And if they pull my chain once more
Something is bound to snap before
We get back to that cage

I'm going to run
And if I have to starve to death
It wasn't living anyway
Change my name
And if no one can call me
I'll never have to come again

No one to call me
I'm out here alone
No one who knows to call that one-time name


Death Valley

Stumble down rocks and block
The sun from your eyes like I do
White spiny plants slow-dance
A rain-dance but can't call the dew

Gravel, burnt tracks, and paint cracks
Borax, beryllium and lead
The needle which inches toward H
Eyelids, dry tongue, and slow head

Don't know where the road goes
and I'm out of gas
Overheating, engine leaking
and lost in the past
I've got a new place to be
Under what was once the sea
I'll set my bones to dry
and settle in the stones and sky

Lake turns to puddle and pond
Leaf goes brittle and black
Rabbits all run from the sun
A grasshopper stranded on salt-flats

A Nut on a River

A nut on a river
Floating downstream
Somehow can still plant its seed

I believe you believe in me

A fish on dry land
Making that sound they make
Still tries to swim to the sea

I have hope you have hope in me

Chop it down
Burn it up
Burn it down
Chop it up

Sit Down

Sit down in my arm chair I sink
thinking of when
we stayed up all night long
It was grey
as the rocks where we hid from the wind

Dreaming of you dreaming of me
and the wind
whines like a dog at the door
but we won't
let it in

Close your eyes and we'll be back home
Make a fire
you and I alone
but I wake up to the phone

wake up to the phone
your voice is sweet and warm
but it's a cold clear dial tone
I thought I heard the phone

Lost inside your head I wander lost in the clear
would you care
Lost you found me just sitting there
sit and stare

Close your eyes
close close
Close your eyes

I wake up to the phone
I wake up to the phone

Difficult Run Farm

Wrinkle your nose, your eyes stay closed, eat anyway
Hold your tongue and cry
Grass and grains and gasoline
A one-lane bridge on a two-way road

Difficult run
Difficult Run Farm

Your best friend Fred whose dad is dead came yesterday
Hide and watch him cry
Trash and trains and trampolines
A burnt-out car makes a kick and a snare

Difficult run
Difficult Run Farm

Daddy set our things on fire
Momma watched the flames grow higher
Daddy set our things on fire

Standing in the stinging nettles with bare feet
No one hears you cry
Blessed and blamed and in-between
Attack the trees with a broken branch

Difficult run
Difficult Run Farm

You're So Sure

You're so sure
where to go now
I love to follow
when you
tug on
my collar

I know you won't leave me
because you want to teach me
but you're gone

So I wait by the window
and I whine hoping you'll know

You're so sure
where to go now
I love to follow
when you
tug on
my collar

I know you won't leave me
because you want to teach me
but you're gone

You come back
and I'm sure
you're my girl
say my name
tell me I'm
your puppy now

Too Old for the Oldies

They used to drive with the radio on listening to their youth
That fat man in the big belt buckle singing the white man's rhythm and blues
They tried to place his name while they sang the tune
but they're too old for the oldies anymore

It happened just last Christmas Day driving home from church
She reached out to turn the knob, but his hand was first
They turned it on together, and had to learn the worst
that they're too old for the oldies anymore

The station identification still said W - O - L - D
But what fun is a disco drum when you like Buddy Holly?
It was at that very moment that they felt elderly
They're too old for the oldies anymore

They still remember when they stole her momma's fresh baked buns
Took his poppa's pickup truck and drove around for fun
The Times They Are A Changin' had just hit number one
and they're too old for the oldies anymore

They pull into their driveway, she says "tell you what we'll do
Just you go and get your guitar, and we'll sing the rhythm and blues
I'll remember the words, and you keep track of the tune
We're not too old for the oldies anymore
Too old for the oldies any more
We're not too old for the oldies anymore."

Emily 35

Emily, you'll be fine
You'll be fine
You'll be fine

Carry on, in this life
Things are made
And unmade
You'll be fine

If you want anything
It's all right
It's all right
If you need anything
Just ask
It's all right
You'll be fine

Bodies are broken
While hearts are reborn
If you love anyone
You'll be fine
You'll be fine
I love you Emily
Actually it's easy
You'll be fine

Happy Birthday
Time is a monster
Who lets us go on
If we wait long enough
We'll be fine
We'll be fine
If we stay calm enough
Actually it's easy
We'll be fine

What comes next?
No one knows yet
Once in a while
We make sense of each other
If we think hard enough
We'll be fine
We'll be fine
If we think hard enough
We'll be fine
We'll be fine
We'll be fine
We'll be fine


Why don't you tell someone about it?
Why do you hide your special knowledge?

You know the budding flower
You know the broad daylight
When it's only morning
What is a step for one?
How many days will do?
With or without a warning?

(Everything starts to get so fucked up, everything (rpt))
(or nothing, nothing, nothing, everything (4 lines))

Why don't you tell someone about it?
Why do you hide your special knowledge?

You gave a blanking stare
You gave a little smile
Came back with a question
How many eyes are you?
Look up. What is a step
For one, the one you just stepped on?

(Everything starts to get so fucked up, everything (rpt))

Why do you hide your special knowledge?
Why don't you tell someone about it?

Water begins to whine
Faith is a question's line
And turns wine into water
and everything.


Just a little bit longer
Why don't you stay Til your will's a bit stronger
Stay here and dream
Future good will arrive soon

Everything's gonna be all right
Now that you're back
We'll forget your failed flight
This time
This time
This time you're back

Stay here today
Cos it's only one more day
Stay here today
Cos tomorrow is your day
Stay here and dream
Future good will arrive soon

Everything's gonna be all right
Now that you're back
We'll forget your failed flight
This time
This time
This time you're back

Stay here today
Every day is a new one
Stay here today
Watch the weeks roll into one
Stay here and stay

Buffalo Commons

Burnt stone shell of a store on Carson Street
Arms stretched out, elbows hold against the wind and sun
Rain pools
Tattered paper cartons float with rusted cans

Carved wood crossed on the broken windowsill
Bright sharp shards reflecting something stopping up the door

A buffalo with shoulders wedged
Eyes wide
Watching the wind and weeds and telephone wires in the street

Stuck like a funny postcard from a bad place
Will concentrated in work

Splinters and pebbles and dust
and an illegible sign

That building falls down

Fire rises
Catches on a pile of papers on a faded desk

The prairies will burn
The prairies will burn
The buffalo burn
The prairies will burn

After Practice She Turns the Page

After practice she turns the page
It doesn't look too hard
Nina picks the two parts out
Slow and an old soul opens

Sees her face in mirror black finish
With bones and arms and hands
A draft of harmonizing thoughts
Hammers hit, strings sparkle

Deerhoof-beaten meadow beds
Laid simple in the dark
The old grey hart lulls trembling fawn
To the drawn-on dawn unbroken

A still-in-winter willow-spray
Crackles in the wind
Sunstruck frozen catkins flare
Hammers hit, strings sparkle

Teacher tries to look away
But still the charm abides
The contrapuntal screws have set
Like stars bolt sky to ocean

We stand outside the shaking house
Watch for it to fall
While Nina picks the two parts out
Hammers hit, strings sparkle

Birds (for Smuckers)

I love birds.

Yes, they can fly,
have hollow bones
and there's birdsong.

Yes, they flock and migrate,
come to feeders,
Penguins waddle.

I love birds

I know some doves.
They live with us
in roof angles,
in three families:

East, they hide
black, blinking eyes;

the middle ones watch,
leap and play hurt
when we get near,
to screen the nest;

West, it's just sticks in a heap,
and we watch their fallen babies die, and we
sweep up the debris.

(I love birds)

Turn Of The World

"Do not disturb my circles"
the sand-reckoner says sternly (or "commands")
as the sword comes down,
who was cutting up grains
to watch rearrange
into a square.

I feel
the turn of the world

"The great god Pan is dead"
a sea-spray voice shouts out as the ship sails on.
Yet the oracle trusts
in her travertine crusted
three-legged chair.

I feel
the turn of the world

"The paradox is the passion of faith" (or "of thought")
the leaflet-man cries out through the murmuring crowd.
If we could just read him
we'd see back to Eden
in his apple-seed stare.

I feel
the turn of the world

Easter Egg Hunting

Easter Egg Hunting
In the half-melt snow with boots on
In the green, brown, and blue, the colors peek through
The white snow makes them glow

And I know it's no rabbit
Last year I found one in May
Speckled and resting on a leaf pile
Left unhid and undyed

That egg never hatched, no no
I put it in your garden
But I saw a speckled bird today
And I guess that speckled birds lay speckled eggs in May

Easter Egg Hunting

One Fine Morning

One Fine Morning
Does' eyes glint wet
It's yours
It's handed down
Whether your sore soles feel like walking
Sticks and mud

This house will fall one day
The sky's alive with dragons
They're lost
Looking for home
Dragging old bodies through the marshes
Their scales and bones are everywhere

Rest for a while
Grass in driveway cracks
Hills burning in the evening light

No talk now, the table clatters
Like fireflies echo stars
It's time
Creak creaking stairs
No she's not here No she's not here
Just close your eyes and open them

VCR 4-Square

VCR 4-Square on the blacktop
Fielded teams chant we won
We won, at the bell mobbing

Uphill victory marches
Conflict ebbed into one "We Won" offered to the future

Still on pause, marching
The big team chanting
Winning into itself

Captain Chugger lied
Head hollowing, "he lied"
Yet mothers acquainting

Canvas stink pitched backyards
Chugger frowned, pretended sickness
The dark lonely quiet

A stretched moment with Mrs. Hardtke
School, summer, swim meets
The "he lied" still echoing

It's Dark

It's dark
pondlets slip and lap
what's this cricket chorus
singing in my sleep?
what's that starlight
leaping from the lake?
wet fingers

lappy liminal skinlicks
muck-foot weed-floor
float-sink under-drift
turning toward the sky
who's that old one
hiding in the heavens?
peering out from the empty circle

I Fuck Your Heart

Don’t touch me
Don’t have touched me
I am a flower
I fuck your heart

Petals, nape, and knee
I stir your pretty blossom pollen

I fuck your flower heart
Don’t touch me

Endless fields of white snow cotton
Dandelion down hover, sleepy daymoths
Pups and chicks at play upon the prairie
The babybells ring the evening light

Don’t touch me
Don’t have touched me
I am a flower
I fuck your heart

Something Nice

something nice would be to go for a drive
roll along the old highway talking
just being glad to be being alive
get out now and then and take the dogs walking

we could find out where the canyon narrows
set up camp somewhere not too windy
let behind oh all our care-os
that would be something nice for you and me

just like when we were still friends
in those days that were never going to end

something nice would've been to go for a drive
just being glad to be being alive

I Wish I Left When We Were Happy

I wish I left when we were happy
Let the love shed off like rain
Seen a light in thunder clapping
A heat in forests up in flames

When your soft lilt and mine rejoiced
I could have cut the cord and fled
To listen to the nightingale's voice
Singing in a cottonflower bed

But if I left when grass was greener
You'd be the one who's feeling blue
And I would never make you miserable
Though I hoped the same from you

We fit our fleeting souls together for a while
Like two parting lips of a bittersweet smile
A tender feeling like a song from up above
I wish I left when we were in love

I wish I left when we were happy
Then I'd be out there in the cold
As it is I'm sitting sadly
No particular place to go

I wish I left when we were happy


A feather floating erratically in an eddy
Catches quill on pebble
Now the feathers of the feather lift
A wave a wave a wave away

I feel bewildered
This paradise is inequipmental
Water rises from the well

A berry branch bobbing laden in the wind
Hover up and down in time
A berrybird bobs the bobbing berries
A wave a wave a wave away

I feel bewildered
This paradise is inequipmental
Water rises then it fell

Starlight sky wound up unspringing
High desert savanna pines below
Epicyclic slipping circle of the sun
A day a day a day away

I feel bewildered
This paradise is inequipmental
Why it rises, who can tell?

I'm a Donkey-Donkey-Donk-Donk

I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk
I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk

Why don't you try to
You know that you want to
Try to ride on me
I'm a Donkey!

I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk
I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk

I got my teeth and I got my buck
2 rabbit ears to bring us luck
I'm a Donkey!

I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk
I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk
I'm a donkey

I'm a slack-jawed hee-haw
I yodel yokel jokes while I waddle down the road
A load of lard saddled
I see salad, stop, sally sideways
Eat green treats til the mean seat beats
Buck my rear, rear my buck-teeth
Bite a knee
Feel the whip and it's skip along
To a new grassy patch

I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk
I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk
I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk
I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk
I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk
I'm a Donkey-donkey-donk-donk


From a bug on a beach,
Toad, frog, and leech,
Pigs, ponies, and
Alligators to you!

Laying eggs in the sun
Little chickens to come
Eukaryotes and prokaryotes
10,000,000,000 years

Mother and Dad
Had a baby so glad
All leading up to you

Make an axe out of stone
Cut a notch in a bone
Australopithecus, Neanderthal
10,000,000,000 years

Gives us a line AB
Make a circle
Make a candle
To wish you a happy day

It's my birthday too
I'm going to do just what I want to
Just like you

Blown Over

a bastard with classless plastic
a has-been with massive taxes
eating tripe on a snail-mail trail with asthma attackers
fortune-500 allergy plasters
amoxicillin warehouse trackers
short them by funding bank-teller hackers
look for a box of atticked beanie-babies
spread the jury's jelly and give them all rabies
jailhouse stoogeless rocking-chair races
tin-can drip-dry sleep-at-night places
fun while it lasted ask a do-over
little red rover told goldilocks to go home
princess penelope sits in the whisky
forested frisky fauna won't whisper
yelling at night til cover your ears
hearing your fellows might confirm your fears

What's that Blue Light?

What's that blue light, and the black lines on the wing?
It's the ocean and the sky, and the birds trying to sing.

What's that purple light, and the big grey circle?
It's the ocean and sky, and I guess that thing's a turtle.

What's that black light, and the little white dots?
It's the ocean and sky, and the stars.

What's that purple light, and the big ball of fire?


Sitting in the sea of North Atlantic
Fishers and fishees all feel so frantic
United Nations law of the sea
Clang clang clang for the land of the free

It's a super scary skerry full of shriek and skirl
Phantom island rising at the end of the world
Volcanic neck of Helen bringing sorrow
Crash the waves singing Rockabarra


Fulmars, gannets, and kittiwakes
Rest in summertime for the brave
Hydrocarbonic cold seep
For sea-snails, clams, and worms to sleep

Spanish, French, both were killed there
In Martin Martin's voyage to Kilda
Rocks which cannot sustain a life
Shall have no continental shelf



When the woolly the woolly the woolly ones went home (repeat)

The ground stopped its rattle
The trees their fall
Tigers slept til afternoon
And we heard the call

To follow, to follow
The woollies to their home
Lest the darkness settle on
The woollies all alone

When the woolly the woolly the woolly ones went home

Mother Word the Generous

time is very long and very short

the stick-man sits on his whispered cloud
eaglets nested softly peep their pudding
mama hears
stick-man sends strikes of lightning

we pretty babies sit and contemplate
the pain of life’s bright fire
mother word the generous
hovers beaky-speaking through our hearts

in time

Smoke Catch Sparks

Sister says that there's a fallout shelter
Grass and weeds over a bolted door
A broken hearted angel built it
Dug a hole but there's no floor

Smoke catch sparks
Peeling peppers in the coals
Untied hearts
Running in and out of home

Jungle gym rusting in the brambles
Edges crumbling where the welds failed
Pulleys in the trees with tangled cables
Father fought the forest while we waited


Chickens talk like lazy love letters
Can't catch Carla she's the queen
They quit laying when the coop collapsed
On an icy Halloween


Drink Water from Cupped Hands

Step through the rashes and the reeds
Oh dimlit marshes in the pines
The tick and talking fields
Bending creekbed beetle-shine

Oakleaves patterning the pool
Oh drink the darkness in the sand
No fool upon no hill
Go down into the green and holy land

A kiss of silver air flush moonrise
Oh the glassy leaves of tender frost
Woollibears and spider flies
Watch the wingless birds dancing in the dust

Ocotillos (Ghosts in the Real World)

Ocotillos on the hillside
Red bells hold sunset
Lost in the Superstitions
In each others' fictions
Ghosts in the real world

Ocotillos on my mind
Deep green under spines
Lost in the lost memories
Carried in the lost cameras
Ghosts in the real world

Nothing is real
But the fire in the wires
No one can feel
But the fool in the fire

And the prairies will burn
And the shriek and the skirl
And the switches will turn
And the message untold
Oo-oo-ooh, ghosts in the real world

Ocotillos on a canvas
Forever in the wires
Lost in the file structure
Figmented rupture
Ghosts in the real world

Long Way Swimming

You stay over there
and I'll stay over here

I've been swimming swimming
I've been swimming long way through the ocean
I've been swimming swimming
I'm very tired and I'm very wet
Long way swimming but not home yet
I tried to visit and you were not at home
I spent some time on your island alone
It's just like mine, small and far away

You stay over there
and I'll stay over here

I've been swimming swimming
I've been swimming
Long way through the ocean

Growing Potatoes

Growing potatoes on a desert homestead
A dog, the stars, and little garden
Each night they fade in
Just waiting until they come for me

Growing potatoes on a desert homestead
A dog, the stars, and little garden

["Mozambique" ; Death and Goblin Valleys]

Mozambique, with its aqua blue skies, as you describe it, in love
and dancing cheek to cheek for a week, certainly sounds nice.
I do enjoy a romantic and pleasantly social getaway. But,
I must admit that from your description, I would not know it from Madagascar.
Is there something in particular about Mozambique which you like?

The thing is, we can go anywhere together, anywhere you like.

I like to go to Death and Goblin Valleys, which seem to hold my heart's mystery.
Someday you'll go there with me, but as long as we're together, we'll be fine.

Let's just meet up at a coffee shop and then step outside the door together.

Citronel, the celebrated

Citronel, the celebrated student of satellites and constellations, peered deep into a smouldering pool.

Bluest depths to dark hollows, shallows shimmering in the wind, soil soft crackling and shifting, the spring spoke, "O scholar -- Within this throat a star burns true, a flame of the real, a mirror of fire. Within this eye a light witnesses itself. Cast within, for the limitless perforation is much too far away."

Confounding mists encircled the scientist, glowing red and black, saying, "I am a moth within your fire, writhing the dance of incineration. Settled into your depths, from the still point I gaze out into heaven. I look through your eye, speak through your voice."

Night lay heavy on the shoulders of the valley. The thoughtful astronomer felt the pause in her work while the sky slid through the thickets. At moonrise the vapors thinned to whispers. "Stay with me," pled the water, "search within until until-until -"

"The lines," she writhed, "the points and lines. O the vastness, the multitude."

The pool is empty now, a space opening into dawn, into the disappearing stars.

People in the Sky

I'm not looking for love
Just a moment of kindness

Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft
People in the Sky
Lights hovering over the horizon
People in the sky

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
People in the sky

"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"

I'm not looking for love
Just a moment of kindness


old snow iced into
the chopped wood stack
not going back
but watching the cold sun
glowing in crystals like
burning the wood

broken blade knife theatrics
old battered stump fibers
cut the quick axe to the pith and holler

and you were there too
spinning in the winterfall making it wonderful
wandering into the drifts and banks in the blackening woods

this life is not my own
I gave mine to the woman I loved
yet the woodfire heated a home

Far Away

Unsettled thoughts of persons long ago
Are tapping on the glass between the lines
A number under name beneath the glass
A word beneath a word beneath a name
Beneath the nearest feeling impulse burns
A sentence of a sentence in the heart

A heart beneath the thoughts unbeaten still
Controls the manifesting of the mind
The sinews of the nervous system taut
To pull against the deeping of the light
To push into the ether in a sign
Entwining in the lines between the minds


Jackrabbit jackrabbit
Walking alone outside my kitchen window
Gentle stepping, no hopping
Earfur alight in the desert gold (cold?) morning sun
No coyotes, no no no please
Leave alone this funny fellow
Under the mesquite trees
Rabbit can almost reach the beans
Jackrabbit jackrabbit jackrabbit
Once a horse fed in this poor field
Eating from my mesquite trees
Jackrabbit jackrabbit


the permafrost is melting
and as it melts the frozen underground dormant organisms will come to life
the animals the ancients fought and buried in the snow
the deadly fever and the sickening creeping chills
secret thoughts whispered into settling fog
and they themselves their souls trapped in the heaving hills

the permafrost is melting
it was cooling then, as an evening falls
the word like a nightlight flickered open
made into flesh and electricity
and soon they will arise
the old ones, the ancient suffering spirits in the dark
the never-written people in the shadows of the soil
will rise and ask us for a name

the permafrost is melting
the permafrost is melting

five short prayers

winter trickling, dry creekbed, crackle ice
under boot feet, crunching afternoon
oak leafs held holy, brown and brittle, fallen frozen
like two butterflies puddling


slush bus, tread names
corner tracks diverge, step foot
follow the snowmelt
climb through the broken grate
sit on a step in the shadows
watching the rills
all the traffic drones

late again today


nightfall, mountainside hiker
headlamp circle flits, rock-hides, peers a moment into dark
we marvelled at the moonrise overhill


tree-flickering sunshine driving north
bicycle flashing red crashing fathers forth
situation control, hide what's underneath me
words matter, not believing
no sir, no sir, not very much sir
I respect your profession, yes sir, yes
how can I help you do your job best?


in the quiet time after awkward conversation
you were so beautiful in your movements from tension to calm
in the quiet time
after awkward conversation