Buried

We buried our despair in the shade of the pine tree,
holding hands as we turned our backs
on those needling thoughts left in the dark.

The hulking ogre took root, waiting
to spring on us when we tried to take cover
beneath the canopy of stars
stretched too tightly that cool night.

A possum or some other unanticipated visitor
disturbed the tranquility, clawing at the dirt
until the ogre — always lurking as we
were distracted by routine — jumped out

to terrorize us once more
while we scrambled for a shovel
or another plot of land.

Ought to be

It would be folly to consider myself
where I ought to be, as if ‘ought’
could glow in your hand
like half-eaten candy thawing
memories under open clouds.

What hubris man to divine
import from earth-bound particles
bouncing among people walking
heads down, the center of it all.

Heavenly bodies revolve
around some other lantern
the same as me, sticky fingers
sweeter from the journey.

Clouded future

Time was an afterthought
as the clouds called us to attention,
demanding we acknowledge
through misty eyes
or other fog-soaked facilities
the half-eaten candy of a pastoral dream
where rolling grasses trampled
through an otherwise quiet afternoon.

The half-hidden sun
implored us to come outside,
though we misunderstood
as he went in circles for days,
refusing to get to the point,
so we sat inside, anticipation dawning
with dew-drenched ideas of misadventures
masked by another day’s ascent.

Brilliant arc

That memory we used to share
comes asking for blueberries when I close
my eyes. I see a kaleidoscope.
Purple juice carries more than it thought
when pinched between fingers that just a moment ago
looked white.

You tried to ruin me but I know
tomorrow jumps two ways. A shooting star tells the tale
for only a moment, extinguished on descent,
though its arc burns red against the black
as if the contrast should surprise us.
The fire reveals the fruit.

Sarcastic shoes

Sneezes can be sneaky and
on particularly
warm nights when fireflies dot the horizon
like sarcastic shoes
leaving prints on white carpet,

the clock kills time
as tick (time
obscured in shadow or yellow dust)
tocs (keeping its own time)
slice through secondary thoughts.

Insects feel ephemeral
(though I hope
they feel nothing) as sarcastic shoes
envelop then in shadow,
interrupting time’s deliberate walk.

This tree

This tree wraps the sky in its arms, a promise
of salvation buried beneath bark
as leaves peak at the surface, buoyed
by the world’s pledge of protection
softly cooing on the wind.

The breeze dissolves as all things must
into an atmosphere of unmoving refuse
where changing winds turn away
against the backdrop of cows laying still
under the too-slow warming sun.

And still this tree shivers looking ahead,
optimism scrubbing bark clean of dirt
and other residue otherwise clouding its defense, 
stronger in the effort while grasping
at the heavens, uncertain as they are.

Through the thorns

We search for a scarlet rosebud,
grabbing past the dreary thorns —
hidden but hopeful — pricking us
on our pursuit of that perfect bloom
sprouting defiantly for us.

The fire reveals the fruit but
illuminates scars — some we’d hoped
to hide with half-eaten candy —
not realizing that the bigger the room
the more places for serpents to hide.

I feel fortune’s poke in this, propelling us
on a treasure hunt where X
misses the mark sometimes while
our best highwater pants
keep our shins delightfully dry.