Home and Cathartes aura


High above the night’s tableaux
A swollen orb throws silver down
on dusky brush. And shapeless things
move through the night-cool air.
Howls crack the brief repose
With voices like our own, two here
Two there, the coyotes hunt in pairs.
The quail quake, and rabbits freeze
While beetles buzz, and cricket jump,
Unconcerned with death just down the way.
To hear the chorus is to know
This barren land, these shadowed forms
That life abounds, though people flee
So they would never learn to fear
A rattle’s hiss, or scorpion sting
In this “barren” land, which people flee.
That sounds just like home, to me.

Cathartes aura

have you ever seen them fly?
broad brown wings, rimmed in white
cruel hooks on featherless face
tearing, ripping, squabbling over death
hunchbacks snapping over a corpse
wheeling, turning, dipping side to side
breeze plays among pine bough
they flirt inside the wind
skies dotted with golden streak
talons bring the reek of kills
long gone. how perfectly did nature
make the boon of highways, far and near?