Half of Earth's atmosphere lies
Below the wheels of the bus
Crawling up the dirt-track pass.
Prayer flags flutter in ruins
Of color at the summit,
Snow-bound most of the summer.
The Tibetan yak reached here
A few thousand years ago,
But snow leopards got here first.
Who knows which of these will leave
When we're all young strangers here?
There is no roof of the world,
Only angels ascending.
Entirely Recent Echo
It's all new. Who in the west
Has ever heard of this truth?
The walls of Grand Canyon once
Carried flash-flood detritus
Near high as the petroglyphs
And the dessicated souls
Waiting to be lifted free
In my imagination.
I am not a surveyor,
But I can feel the water
Carving the old world under
And away from my clay feet.
We're all young here, and we howl,
Wolves and infants, small wonder.
Sarah told me I should compose a poem
For your 70th birthday. I thought
It might be an interesting project,
If only because, except where your home,
Local artists, or guests are involved, you're
A no-nonsense type of woman. You won't
Be happy with flouncy rhymes or abstract
Imagery intended to impress dour,
Actual February with a sidelong
Glance at the meaning of snowy objects
Sitting mute as the cat at your window,
In craving out, out craving inside. Strong
Enjambment solves half the problem, but you
Are a whole-solution girl. Poems love you.