Three golden dogs sprawled
in the dawn cold, honeyed
bellies full of secrets as they lie
behind the illusion
of a low picket of ruby glass,
the sun behind it, trick of the light
keeping reality at bay.
Then the truth of chiaroscuro
revealing upturned ribs
in the bloodied stubble
of corn half-rising from the furrows
beside the white, clapboard church.
Even in sleep, this feral pack
guards the bones of the doe
they ravaged. Let go
of what you believed
you saw. Now, your eyes are full
of beauty and loss. What more
could you pray to see?
Azalea with Crows
What to make of one crow,
black and chattering to the white hovering
dogwood flowers, as his mate flaps down
to earth, amid azaleas, to tug and tear
the meat from the severed wing
that once lifted one of their own. The azaleas
bloom too early this year. Warm winter,
so much sun so soon, and the buds
can't hold their tongues
a moment longer; mouths of red,
pink, and white gape in the heat,
their colors made of wind and rain,
tell tales of the dead they've dredged up
from the dirt. Listen: one scarlet flower
releases the last caw from a crow's
moth-white skull cradled in a web
of feeder roots just below the mulch.
The living perch above it all in a tree
of white crosses. The female cleans her beak
on a branch. Azalea translates into dry earth; ablaze.
Though, at home it is called siangish shu
or shrub that is longing for home.
Photo Credit: Curtis Krueger