Monday, August 31, 2009

Death Valley Poem 2

Ubehebe Crater to Teakettle Junction

Near the edge, a gust of wind
pushes a butterfly beyond the rim.
Seven hundred feet of clear air to the bottom.

Fighter jets    silver
streaking                    gone behind Tin Mountain
back again      looping one
around the other.

Coyote cross the road ahead.
First one
then one and one and another
six total, crossing with heads down.

With each mile the air gets cooler, but
foreign, still: too sharp, sound becomes
animate, and in this clear cool air I can see too far.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Death Valley Poem

Teakettle Junction to Racetrack Playa

Dozen and a half teakettles hanging like moons.
They carry the afternoon heat like a handful of bees.
A wind-chewed sign at the center of their orbit.

Six miles to the impossible furrows of my dreams. The last
time I saw them I read their lines like a palm.

Here in the crook of these radioactive mountains,
the lakebed holds nothing but rocks and the rocks
hold nothing but the secrets of their inertia.