FALL

Somber hue diffused on everything.
          Each creature, each emptied corn stalk,
          is richly bundled in mellow light.
In that open unharvested field of my own life,
I have fathered small joys and memories.
My heart was once a lover’s swing that creaked in wind
of these calm fall days.
Autumn chants my visions to sleep,
and travels me back into a night
when I could touch stars and believed in myself….

Along the way, grief broke me,
          my faith became hardened dirt
          walked over by too many people.

My heart now, as I walk down this dirt road,
on this calm fall day,

          is a dented
          tin bucket
          filled with fruits
          picked long ago.
          It’s getting harder
          to lug the heavy bucket.
          I spill a memory on the ground,
          it gleams,
          rain on hot embers
          of yellow grass.

-111-

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Black Mesa Poems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Dream Come Early 1
  • Old Man 4
  • From Violence to Peace 5
  • Roots 11
  • Dream Instructions 13
  • Jaguar Head 16
  • Leaps 17
  • Dust-Bowl Memory 18
  • Day’s Blood 19
  • Drawing Light 20
  • The Other Side of the Mountain 21
  • Into Death Bravely 23
  • Hitchhiker 24
  • Knowing the Snow Another Way 25
  • Too Much of a Good Thing 27
  • Knowing When 28
  • Birthing Work 29
  • Praise 31
  • Bells 32
  • A God Loosened 34
  • Main Character 35
  • As Children Know 37
  • Spring 38
  • At Night 40
  • God’s Coming 41
  • Matanza to Welcome Spring 42
  • Llano Vaqueros 46
  • Green Chile 47
  • Sweet Revenge 49
  • A Good Day 50
  • What We Don’t Tell the Children 52
  • What’s Real and What’s Not 54
  • Old Woman 57
  • Wishes 58
  • Choices 60
  • Family Ties 62
  • Picking Pinons 63
  • Work We Hate and Dreams We Love 65
  • Accountability 66
  • Perfecto Flores 67
  • Invasions 70
  • Mi TÍo Baca El Poeta de Socorro 73
  • Child of the Sun—Gabriel’s Birth (Sun Prayer) 76
  • Personal Prayers 79
  • Since You’Ve Come 81
  • What Could Have Been and What Is 82
  • Voz de la Gente 84
  • Bj 86
  • Custom 87
  • El Sapo 89
  • News 97
  • A Field of Clover 99
  • Influences 101
  • Toward the Light 102
  • TomÁs Lucero 104
  • Bedtime Story to the Boys 106
  • On Blood and Bone 107
  • Wind 108
  • September 109
  • Fall 111
  • I Am Here 112
  • A Better Life 115
  • A Daily Joy to Be Alive 116
  • Black Mesa 118
  • Sanctuary 122
  • Glossary 125
  • New Directions Paper Books—A Partial Listing 127
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