In Valleys Like This


It was in valleys like this that 
the land spoke.  The earth itself shared 
its language of place and time.  The 
when and where of life was known.  The 
earth spoke in a forgotten tongue 
like fingers speak to hands, like hands 
speak to arms, like arms speak to chest 
and chest sings the songs of fingers,  
knows the beat of feet and feels the 
soles' words of water, roots and rock.

This song was known to the singer 
even when unsung, sprung from the 
same womb, as close as cadence, as 
rhythm as rain, as known as the 
nails of one's hands, unnoticed for 
its constant presence.  Its lack is 
the death of us all, its dearth is
a black wall that hides us from our 
selves, our once embraced, now banished, 
bare and prodigal pantheons.




Hum(m)us

(Susan challenged me to write a poem about hummus back in....umm...April, I think.  
I get around to things eventually...)


Hum(m)us

Hearth of soil and soul of 
stone, gather us 
to your bosom.  Hum us
like warmth into
winter’s close conjuring.
Hum us into 
the bellies of our love.

Heirlooms live in 
ancient ovens leavened 
with our tailings, 
leavings telling of our 
ordinary 
meals, the most sacred shared
by us, alone.

Pulses from one 
to the one that sprang from 
her very soil
(earth murmurs), the maker
passes on the
notes of a melody
for the making. 

Six simple gifts, the land's 
material,
ascend in scales, soft sound 
offerings of 
humble place; ordinals 
older than words;
sounds fat and round and full 

of life.  "Fully
formed and transformed by the 
mouth’s own making,
the soil's song sings itself
in tongues' silence,"
mumbles humus, a tune
down in its roots.




Binary Earth



How many neurons
fire or don’t fire

to spell the color red?

How many ons and offs
spell rouge instead

of scarlet or crimson,
color or rust?

How many more spell
iron to dust
and burn it to umber?

How many reds 
slumber in the brazier
of the sun?

How many browns
sleep in the mud?