Saturday, June 22, 1991

TRINITY


TRINITY 

from a drawing by Marsha Connell, White Sands Guardians

When Marsha drew 
rock formations at Stallion Gate,
naming them White Sands Guardians,
she knew nothing of their history
witnesses to Ground Zero, 
and the new green desert glass, trinitite
On July 16th,1945,
the sand fused for miles
by Trinity; a destroyer of worlds,
said J. Robert Oppenheimer.
This is the place 
where Billy the Kid 
& Pancho Villa last rode
on The Trail of the Dead.

This is the place
where ghosts of the Cold War 
swarmed in hissing sands, 
where fathers and sons listened 
to the sounds of war 
growling across a cloudless sky
announce the birth 
of the nuclear age.

This is the place 
where blood stained white sands, 
and the threefold nightmare 
of a black flower bloomed,
riding across the world 
at the speed of light.   


6/91 & 7/16/92                                                                        

Saturday, June 1, 1991

WHY I AM A POET

WHY I AM A POET


The silhouette of a bird on a telephone pole
a raven, a vulture, a hawk? Too big.
I swerved and braked the truck—
in the sunlight, a golden eagle,
too close to civilization, and I understood
why they're called golden; they are luminous.
Spotting eagles within city limits
isn't reason enough to write a poem about it.
What am I supposed to do now?
Tell the world I hang eagle feathers
from my ceiling to keep away bad dreams?
We feel compelled to talk of more human things
site-specific, but now I've seen rare eagles
where they're not supposed to be.
We've come to expect vultures and crows
with whom we co-exist so beautifully.
The raptor who faced near-extinction
isn't reason enough to celebrate;
our sights are limited to an occasional red-tail
on the fringes of society, and we are satisfied.
We always have trouble imagining
anything beyond our own limitations.


6/91