Set Me Down

October 26, 2016



Drove this road
A thousand times
And never stopped
But I wanted to stop
Wanted to drop
My boot heel
In the dust right here

Where everything else
Is a hundred miles away

From that greasy joint
At the side of the road
Where they take your last buck
Just cause they got you
Just cause the Flyin’ J
Is a hundred miles away
Up past the horizon’s mirage

Silver all a shimmer
That never lets you stay

I still want to give ’em
My only last dollar
For a dusty tin cup
Of black coffee
A bit of leaf for my briar
And watch the rest fly right by there
A hundred miles from anywhere

As they look for somethin’
I already found along my way

Left my heart in the dust
On a ribbon of a road to nowhere
You’ll still find my shadow there
Back broken, knees bent
Bent as my soul
That fell seven years ago
Into a cool well at a secret spring

Under a crooked cross on a holy dune
A million miles away

Look in my hands
See this dust
Take my bones
These lonely bones
And cover them up
With this

Don’t play me a dirge
Let the heat waves shimmer-dance
On my bones
On these sticks and groans
Just let the wind fiddle
A lonely tune round the cholla
On my bones

On these lonely bones
Just let the desert play

There’s a burnt ravine
Tween Hatch
And the brass of the Tucson sky
Out in the saddle-sore gulches
And wind-beaten scrub so dry
When I get too old
Take me on that long road

Till I can’t walk no more
Then set me down

On a hot rock
Under the old creosote
With the lizards and cicadas
The sun burnin’ my jeans up
My lips chapped, crinkled as a crone
As these crows’ feet in a squint
Let me taste that coppery dust

One last time let me just
Breathe it into these bones

Let my last sight be
A dust devil dancin’
Those darned quail a-skitterin’
And the mourning doves
Up on the lines above
Serenadin’ me
In peace while I lay

In the grit of a forgotten wash
A hundred miles away

At high noon
When the sun is blazin’
Burnin’ up the long long sands
Put my sweet girls in my hands
Put your cool kiss on my cheek
Don’t cry, I wanted it this way
And leave me here to stay

So far from anywhere.
A hundred miles away

Originally posted June 5, 2010


September 6, 2016


I’m reminded
Of the past
The sad realization that
Only absolute distance
Or death
Will afford me relief
From those hard days,
Dark people and
Broken dreams.
I am thankful
For the joys interlaced
Among the shadows.
Yet the ruin to be found
Even as I rejoiced
Is painful beyond my relief.
You, even you,
Brought as much sorrow
As blessing
From the moment of our
First moment
And still
Sorrow just back there
A moment ago.

Simply Writing

July 29, 2016

vacation part 1 377

Let me create
Dark images
Upon this indelible
White paper
Pure as her silk wrap

As the shredded land
Of this royal dervish
Yet not raging
The calm after
More that
Than a roaring maelstrom

For it is my reluctant
My recollection of the fire
Not walking in
Or fearing
But remembering with the calm
Of a sage
Who has seen
What is and was and is to come

So much that the ink
Is but a shadow
On the recalcitrant memory
Of this page