A WINTER SUNSET IN THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY
The day was much too warm
To truly be called a Winter’s
Day. Narcissus were in bloom.
The greening of the fields was overloaded
For the time of year, but there it was.
Evening had loaded itself on moisture,
Banked the clouds into sheets,
Stretched them across a valley landscape
And was pushing the sun down behind
The whole thing in poured golds and
metallic hues that could easily have
Been kept and put aside for
late Spring or early Summer. Five
O’clock was not used to handling
This kind of display at all.
The sky was slightly embarrassed
But would never deny that wealth
Of colors and special fashion
Such a rare gem as this could command.
And so it commanded and looking we obeyed.
BURNING THE STAIRS
There is a low wail coming
Up through my skin. When
I listen in, head close
To the radio I can feel
The pulse, the full pulse,
The pulse, pulse of the electricity
In its circuits. I can smell
The ozone. I can tell
It needs flame. Even the music.
Even the announcers voice,
Lofting and falling, selling stereos
And car tires has the stink
Of flame around it. I wish
For evening, a room far away,
The arc of a great bird
Across the sky, etched air.
The wail will have none of this.
It becomes louder and shrill.
The dial begins flickering.
Its mouth full of flame.
It begins to melt.
I quickly pick it up,
Toss it into the air.
The stairs of the angels catch fire.
The air is filled with burning stairs.
There is no way to get to heaven
The fire storm rages down.
It is like dreaming.
It is like moving clouds
Away with one’s hand.
I stand at the top
Of the stairs and look down,
Someone is listening to a radio
They are an animal.