Bluffs Near Gallup NM

Red rock rises from the river;
Painting the dessert horizon,
Like a giant downtown mural.

Water-washed caverns
Hide some ancient artifact;
Important to someone, sometime.

Route 66 used run this valley;
Taking automobile pilgrimages
To a promise land called California.
Here they hang on to a past;
Signs and stores still carry the numbers
Emblazoned on a shield.

Look closely now!
On the ridge line
A solitary scout,
Ancient warrior;
Silent sentinel;
Seeking out danger
In the valley below;
Hearing only the whine of truck tires
And the cars on the Interstate.

Gentrifaction Blues

Like faded hop-scotch lines,
Memories are washed away
With spring rains and frozen winters.
Laughter lit up this street once;
Alive with children’s games.

Like old men sitting on porches,
The sidewalks feel ancient;
Buckled cracks and clumps of grass
Sing the sorrow song
Urban decay, dying day.

Broken-down houses creek
With the wind, as they too want
To move to new neighborhoods;
With fresh laid sod
And sapling trees.

Hope hovers for a moment.
Perhaps a recaptured past
From radiant renewal;
New families and lawns,
With childen laughter songs.

Green gives way to grey
With a concrete blanket;
Trees dismembered;
Backyards banished;
High-rise condos reach the sky.

Leap of Adventure

So often we exist
In the shadow of daring,
Never reaching out to touch
The heartbeat of adventure.
Trapeze artists of time;
Holding one bar tightly;
Never letting go.

Head spinning,
Heart pounding;
With eyes open,
Leaping from the shadows;
Grasping the higher bar.

Letting go of sameness,
Letting go of staleness,
Letting go of security,
We fly!


They waited for me to return,
To the hometown I never knew;
Thinking I was their native son.
But like a vagabond gypsy,
I left to experience the world.
In every place I called home
They thought,
“This is now his hometown.”
Until I packed up and moved on;
Taking with me some of each town and city;
But always leaving some of me behind.
They waited for me to return
To the hometown I never knew.
They are still waiting.
And I am still traveling.