"Why We Need Ponds" To break the monotony of crops we need ponds to be, on our home places, the eyes that never close as their grass lashes go to seed. To collect what clouds drop we need ponds, to let rain run into rills, to let grasses grow on their banks so that rills don’t become runnels, so that snow melts and sinks in as few things do. We need ponds to let all waters have a destination part of a cycle. * We need ponds to teach us patience. When the water we prepared for doesn’t come we will have time to build a reef the water rises and algae grows to cover to stock the basin with fish and imagine them trance-like with their lidless eyes and slight correcting motions in the reef. [Finally] one day the pond will have become a sanctuary for mating dragonflies and coyotes tired of wandering the sandy beds of old, high-walled creeks. * After such an effort what might we become? After changing the map moving the horizon of a place whose every dip and roll every living being thought it knew? Once we have changed the weather because it’s not humid enough in Greentop in August, after changing the soundscape so the whippoorwills and bluebirds have migrating companions, on the day the trees finally see themselves in the pond’s mirror may we be the reflection that fractures when something lands on the pond’s placid surface breaking us into a loving eye, an awakened ear, an open hand.
"Jesus In Three Movements" I. Before the border walls there were mission walls. At Tumacacori they crumbled to Sonoran sand and the fossilized pits of Fr. Kino’s peaches. Jesus replants the mission orchard with the oldest root stock he can find. In downtown Tucson yards abuelas keep alive the old world stock— black mission figs. From cuttings to seedlings Jesus nurses the trees, plants them near the old acequia, wraps their slender trunks to protect them. II. Layers of checkpoints at Nogales, first, out on the interstate, a sun-baked shipping container their makeshift detention center. North of the crossing people wrapped in blue tarps slept on the highway. Jesus warned us away from vendors selling home-canned goods and plastic bags of quesadilla. He sang corridas as our bus wound its way up the mountain, sang us past a huge truck overturned on the road’s edge , sang us by the smoldering fires left by people going north through the Sonoran desert. At Santiago de Cocospera he shook his head at pieces of the crumbling church stored in a shed while the tin nailed to what was left of Cocospera tore off in a hot wind. Acres of white plastic greenhouses below us in the valley. From where comes the water? III. You don’t know what richness is, Jesus said, knocking on an old woman’s door. She kept keys to the white-washed mission, San Ignacio Sonora. He wanted us to see her walled garden-- quince fig lime lemon. Taste this, he said, pulling a lime from a branch, cutting it into slivers. Old world stock planted along an acequia. A screened kitchen around a huge copper pot to cook the quince down. Taste this, he said, shaving a block of quince paste into small bites. Parakeets and parrots chattered in their cages. These are the keys to the kingdom.