Oak Creek Fire

Set the silver watch
to the price being right,
the Oak Creek Canyon fire
needs to die tonight

As the rain dancers gather
for a fly above the San Francisco Peaks,
in the valleys the clouds,
seeded by puffs of purple smoke
collect and circle
to the holy resolution
for a secret peace,
the gravity running to ground,
life as electricity for a brief lease
as minotaurs tower and Kachinas
yearn to speak to lost souls
drying like water in their graves

Five miles east
wind in my face
and the fire plume,
a violet volcano

Five miles east, but close enough,
the white wash coat of burned juniper
forcing the Saturn in the nostrils,
the mountain fizzling out
in a downpour, monsoon downdrafts
blowing ash into a many shouldered beast

We went home and made a list
of what we would need when
the call for evacuation came,
craving a disaster to bring
the memory awake, the dreaming down.

Great thin-legged clouds spiderwalk
their way across the red ridge,
red with weather; precious things
shake in their cupboards, forgotten.

Lightning pounds the mesas,
the wind pushing down in atomic bundles
of white orange flasks of violence,
a curtain on the sun, a dirty window of light,
a blowout of compressed desires
pressing the sky, re-animating us

Street Sweep

Exhume the dust for me
as you go by, a symmetric stormy monster,
a dinosaur adorned in flashing alien lights
yellowing out my bedroom window
as you sneak across the road in a roar
turning up the dirt, the street sweeper

O sure, everything is allowed at the service
of the oil age, automatic as the agonized sky,
a pusher man prone to the wheeled Brontosaurus,
clouding up the gassy metrics, a ton of dunes
ruining the atmosphere already
increasingly painful to breathe

Your weekend worship of the highways and byways,
the white salts and manicured molecules
spun up by tires and thrusts and egos
turning the corners hard, the insecurities
of motorized minds, tarnishing the trashy homes
with insiders hardly aware of the poisons
foisted upon the detritus of man,
blending with throat burns and sneezes,
the polychemical wheezes for a death dance
dialed up by the need for speed,
for time machines littering the pathways
running over the civic plan lands,
creating scars on kites, noxious fumes
for birds, sick on the way to the animal hospital,
the skies gone brown, gone to paste,
the karma kills of what comes around,
goes around

All typed up in Courier,
the ink is dry as the messenger
is hung from the brittle forest
of toilet paper and trees
The ax men came by this week
and cut the lone tree on the block down;
must have been more than an half-century old,
and this typewriter is my counterweight
Stiff in the wind, drying fast as central California,
the last water is water that won't last,
and the centrifuge of the rude work crew,
hooped and howled when they chopped it down
The undeclared war on nature, represented
in this microcosm of pointless foolishness
was at the service of the power company
and the shade is gone and my heart is numb
For war is peace for satiated kings and queens
selling us sweet drinks to suck down
or the big high five with unwashed hands,
the blood and guilt gone soft
as the lost daughters and sons
circle the dead branches, the stumps left over,
speechless and mute; the shade
lost and gone as the seizure winds
crossing the mountain ranges,
stirring up heat and dust ...

Soon, they'll be begging for the stuff