Dogslandia

Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sonnet #232

Would you sacrifice your life for gas
station burritos? Someone did. They bled
with all their friends and lovers dead
And carved into pieces, saran-wrapped, passed
into machines; also every bean contained
the possibility of flowers, the hope of mothers
Every kernel, stalk of green, all other
pieces of this tepid slab had holiness

This is why to make food poorly is a sin:
Oh, Life! What did these beautiful ones die for?
If we must kill to live, let us honor those done in
Who gave their children for our children, nor
should we allow the hungers quotidian
to permit us to forget how death's head roars

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sonnet #231

As I live, I hide these nests inside my hair
Where songs are born, slip out, take wing
I try to say the growths are merely things
Long lost, leftovers of childhood. ignore the singing.

As I live and work, just mind gradiations,
Foraging patterns, all that stuff that spirits do
With all of us, passing through their iterations
As if they never stopped to hatch and grow anew

But autumn comes, and I see my leaves descend
And I, uncaring who may know or see
What's been hidden until the wind rends
loose these dying papers, scattered leaves

These nests I hold, here, all of them are mine
I lift them up; I protect; the birds return in time

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sonnet #230

Everything we see and everything we touch
Began as a dream in somebody's head
All tools are imagined, all laws come from beds
where dreamers rise to wake their world as such

All the dreamers I know live out on the edge
They tread water in dreams, burn all their wax
They work twice as long, pay twice the tax
Every time the bills come due, all bets must have hedge

The state of the union where dreamers are poor
The state of the union where dreamers work late
The state of the union where delusions of grandeur
Are met with terror and mockery, hate
The state of the union where making art and poetry
Means fool's uselessness, merit so hungry

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Truth About Microwaves

This is very simple, the new spying we do
Say you build microwaves. Every office has one.
Every kitchen. People tell the truth in kitchens.
Kitchens are honest.
Say you build microwaves.
You put a GPS in the microwave.
You put a small microphone in it.
You sit in some distant cubicle, under a bunker, and search out
coordinates.
You must be very careful how you do it
If you are caught, it could be a problem for you
But, still --

You turn on the microwave.

Say you are the country that builds all the microwaves
Your mountains are stripped to the bedrock for the building of them
Your rivers are the rivers of mercury
Your people live in cots, die in cots
They wear full-body suits with goggles for eyes
while they work
they work a long time

you turn on their microwaves

It doesn't have to be microwaves
They build everything
Everything

At night, the technocrats sit up and listen to the world that exists
outside their factories
Where people have time to cook in their kitchens
Where people talk about their day, tell the truth about it
 And you get to hear what it's like
In offices where people have time to talk while they eat
In all the places that don't build the microwaves
And people tell each other the truth

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sonnet #229

Who owns the poem and knows what it means —
Who writes the questions on the test —
Who chooses what is good and what is best —
And understands the truth inside the lean?
Oh star crossed letters, I do not know
Why ever would I stop to explain
When what I know is written plain
And never made much sense to me, so
Work it out upon a word, these little steps
Into the hills, walking round the mountains
Where the bird songs should be kept
And rainstorms come — Oh, star crossed mountains
Every step is lost and lost, inept
Others say what footprints planted claim

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sonnet #228

At first, when we find life on other planets
We will ooh and aah and protect their wild
Better than we ever cherished our own child
This will not last, and then we will man it
This other world, we will choose to keep it kill
As it suits our plans, at first lip service to peace
the gingerly process of planting our flags and trees
Just a little, just to try, just to study, just this hill
For a while we will restrain ourselves
Then, in time, the lines between the worlds
Gets blurry, we take what’s there we sell
We push the wild into gardens, walled
Then wilderness of worlds will hurt each other
Where the escape of visitors spreads on either

Friday, January 12, 2018

Sonnet #227

oh my pigeon heart where will you fly

When eggshell-colored skin cracks open bleeds
And shakes, and surgeons come for all they need
And my pigeon heart will leave me to die
And carry on a pulse in another’s chest
Will it be a monster or a man, will they love
One another as I have loved you, and move
Together when the dancing starts, try their best
Will the pigeon heart be soothed? And how long?
How many caverns can carry a heart, someday,
 will organs pass down like a children’s song
Learned at cradles, returned to cradles to play
Another round, hearts passing down where wrongs
In air collect, but my pigeon heart is strong — it stays

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sonnet #226

We are so careless with our wild and precious world
We live as if the size of us is endless horizons
As if there will always be another mountain
Another valley, another lake, new boys and girls
As joyful, as safe, as fulfilled and fulfilling
As if progress is measured by the gravity
of money, how it seems to magnetize more money
into heaping imaginary mountains unending
As if the imaginary mountain is greater than
The one that is blown apart, all waters polluted
We cannot eat the imaginary mountain
We cannot live beside these forests denuded
We cannot promise that there will be life again
So broadly this poem, beat it hard, prosecute it

Monday, January 1, 2018

Sonnet #225

I took my prayers to the oldest tree
And blew them up into the branches bare
In some few weeks I hope they sprout in green
When seasons turn, but I know what grows is rare
The winter branches catch what ghosts they can
But most will drift into the clouds, and this is grey
All those low, bleak winter clouds, all plans
That have been lost, dreams that escaped this day
I took my prayers as well to Balcones Fault
Where the crevice in the rocks cuts deep
Old Gods inside the earth with wounds of salt
Will they accept what clouds will weep
All lost prayers become the green eventually
Just give it time, an earth, a sky, you’ll see.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Ten Birds

Mary, Queen of Sorrows, came
To see my garden green
I showed Her all the flowers where
They dropped as frost cut clean

I showed Her all the fruit that fell
Where tumbled on the grass
And trampled earth in mud will stain
The boots of all who pass

We set a tea set in the field
And served Her as She pleased
We poured sweet earth washed watery
And sliced this pie of me

A crust of mud, a crackling kiln
A dry, sandblasted pie:
Limestone-pocked the filthy seal
we cracked to ten birds fly

A pigeon for my beating heart
Red cardinal for my soul
Two grackles there for my great fears
One is grey and one is gold

House sparrow for the work I've made
A mockingbird for anger
A scrub jay blue for all lost things
Dear chickadee for laughter

The titmouse for my courage
To be tiny takes the brave
Black vulture for the meat of me
No flesh is ever saved

Ten birds' flight before the Queen
Each freedom chips at ivory
They scratched Her eyes and battered ears
And shattered statuary

We buried Mary, Holy Queen,
In a frostburned barrow
We hope someday She'll rise again
When birds return to harrow

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sonnet #224

Remember the Alamo, how the brave men died
But forget the reason they stood their ground
Forget how most came in great number and lied
About their conversion to the faith and found
Ruins of cultures wracked with newer diseases
And refugees of wars they care not remember
And burned the survivors in toil in the Missions
And shipped in their stolen souls for more embers
So the beautiful hills could be pushed under hoof
And haciendas and plantations and all free men
with the whip and the scythe could stand aloof
Until the distant capitol elected freedom from
free men, they rallied their rifles and rabbled and roused
And held unto death against lessers, brave and proud

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sonnet #223

Snow came when we weren't ready for it
That night, I called her to the porch to look
Up, where the drifting clouds shivering shook
the puffs that fell like dead clouds sifted

Children in the dark were dragged from bed
Raced into the late night air to catch a flake
In their hands, in their hair, on their tongues, awake
Smile at this miracle, cheeks rosy and red

Also red are the firetrucks, where the road ices
How many dead will slide into the walls?
How many accidents, brown-outs, and crisis
when these strange incidents sweep and fall?
Snow came, we weren't ready, but we try this
Pretend we aren't afraid for siren's call

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sonnet #222

The birds will not remember me, nor bees
nor butterflies, but that they lived better and more
will be legacy written in every shadow in the sky
When I am gone, and mud drowns all my sores
There will be living birds that sing memorials
and do not realize to whom their song adores
The honey will be sweet where flowery vials
bore the bounteous nectar and butterflies tore
chrysalises open for gardens painted on the wings
And generations of the flyers hid among these leaves
next to my door, where otherwise was nothing
lawn of grass, mowed, ignored, wilderness bereaved
Where now there is a garden because I lived here
Pilgrims fly in memory of my gardens that were

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sonnet #221

The ghosts are always here where we - Remember
their Reflections - Trace the story of
the death of those - Who bear our crass dissections
- Giants striving after giants - They
linger in the wind - Where breath calls to
the ghost of giants: a name and all their sins
For all good art is built on mis’ry - Sorrow
sings all songs - And memory of loss, a story
- That echoes far along - The music bends
to voices new - Who reinterpret painted
stones - Master  builders born anew
-Build ships from giant bones - haul dreams
Of giants, new made kings - all makers

rise to carry - their ghosts shape hopes and beams