We walked on a sandbar
stepped where a blue heron stepped
the four lines where its foot fell
pressed into crackles by our weight.
We found warm shallows
where life abounded
mollusks the size of our palms
had pulled themselves across the floor
doodling blind, directionless lines
searching for I do not know what
We found a gar
dried to leather
black as driftwood in the moist sunshine
sunken eyes like leather coins
expressionless, shriveling down
to its primeval skull.
We found wet clay
as deep as our knees
We mired ourselves on purpose
and struggled back out again
Pretending we were dinosaurs
Or maybe the making
of some new fossil
Everything on the riverbank leaves a trace
Every path is printed
That is until
the water rises, falls
and refreshes itself.
Each rainfall rinsing
the palette clean.
It gathers at the nothing. It collects at emptiness.
Grasp after it and lose it.
It’s nearly, nearly tangible,
but it does not exist.
And it’s the only thing that makes this world
We sat on our hill and she taught me a song.
I remember her laugh when I got the words wrong,
I remember the way the grass tickled our feet,
And the flowers I tucked in her hair looked so sweet,
But I ruefully deem the dream as incomplete.
Though deep I have delved and long I have sought,
I cannot recall what she patiently taught.
Aoudads are enormous, proud, and graceful animals.
The largest have sweeping beards from chest to hoof,
thick horns curling behind them,
and a critical goaty gaze
which sees you from its perch
high in the desert rocks
and seems to say, “what low thing
squints up at my grandeur?”
Their strength prevails in a climate
where lesser breeds wither.
Every image on the net
is one of these proud ruminant gods,
dwarfing a human at their side,
held aloft by the horns
by a smiling hunter.
Something there is about a god
which drives mankind to kill it.
We suffer nothing to live above us.
fomented, divided, abandoned, regained
we are still children yet
what will tomorrow’s trials teach us?
who will fall?
who will flourish?
what pain will bear
life does not get easier.
we will have days even worse than this,
enough to tear our souls apart.
we will bend, burn, bellow
if we can listen we can learn
from each successive conflagration
but wiser, truer
aligned in the sudden extremes.