Two Poems

Walking the Arroyo

I kneel at the altar of stone,
quartz-veined and creek-cut
to trace volcanic memories.

The urgency of cicadas
sings through the pines.

I listen to approaching footsteps,
only to watch deer walk
away through the wash.

The flies buzz at my breath
like winged heartbeats.

I hold a belonging
in water-churned pebbles
and refuse to let go.


What my mind divides,
water accepts as one,
whirling leaf and rock.

The creek’s backbone
striates pebbles.
Ripplemarks etch sand.
How to translate this? 

A stump’s dendritic scroll 
records breath in 
the rings of past rains.  

Fresh tracks and
and cast-off sticks
suggest mule deer. 

I wrestle with light
in the fissured dark,
reading annotated sycamore.

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