As now, each evening brings a last embarrassment Of light that shames the setting sun to drop its fan, A tawdry final display. But as the darkness Sways its daily way, up from deepest holes within The earth, the loving men of Myrtle rise to give Their wives the few remaining sparks that nothing Else can draw from those who live in shaded valleys Along the Clearwater River, racketing down a pocket Of rock, applauding itself through shallow rapids. And where a muscled swimmer barrels into slower Pools, old basalt can trick the undercurrent and legs Are turned to stone. Wraiths that might be geese Conspire the body down to where the dregs of those Who doubt the influence of birds lie tangled deep In shrouds of cottonwood. No matter how or where It stops, flesh is never far from where it starts.
Not a Breeze at the Windfarm
At least the hawks are happy if not the alternative energy workers who appear to be idle themselves during a freak Palouse calm spell but perhaps the local raptors aren’t dying quite as quickly as usual this particular afternoon due to the lack of propeller action on the giant windmills stymied by the intermittent zephyrs.
Red-tails especially and sharp-shinned, ferruginous and the harrier—all are especially susceptible to death by good intentions. Turns out you can save the earth but not anybody on it especially those you love which is why the notion of sustainable anything (even me) doesn’t translate all that well out here in the hell-and-gone stalled former farm fields of Oakesdale.
But if we believe hard enough perhaps a couple thousand acres of polycarbon arms and revolutionary bearings will turn it all around and even death itself will be unsustainable for at least one lifetime, maybe, say, mine.
Dennis Held lives in the Vinegar Flats neighborhood of Spokane, Washington, where he is a book editor and community organizer. His first book of poetry, Betting on the Night, was published by Lost Horse Press; his second, Ourself, by Gribble Press. His most recent collection, Not Me, Exactly, is forthcoming by Hand to Mouth Press. He lives along Hangman Creek and watches for kingfishers.