Salt Flats and This Land Is Our Land 

Salt Flats

The last fading glimpse
Of the comet,
Streaking down,
Just under the handle of the Dipper.

Fleeing the constellation of the Greater Bear
Like a machine repelled from the wild.

Or a train,

Now two days gone.

The wives and husbands,
And inauspicious lovers,
Having left the platform long ago.
The hands—

Waving goodbye
From the windows—

Now retracted, and perhaps, holding
A pillow
Or a book
On the long ride.

Our blankets lay out on the flats.
The other picnickers seemed to wind

Away from us— slowly— casually,
As though we are not in fact
Whirling through the cosmos. And,
Many of them leaving all together.

A telescope turned,
Now toward the moon.
The wine nearly gone.
Having read Yeats and moved on

To songs—

While we danced,
In the warm summer
Night air,
Salt clinging to us.

This Land is Our Land

If you forget,
I’ll try to capture it,
Bottle it up
And, with one of those old pens
—Which I’ve never used
Or seen, really—
Turn it
Into this poem.

Wind rushing
Through firs
Like fingers
Out the car window.
And ponderosas
Remember the bark,
How it smells?
Sweet vanilla.
And here is a creek, babbling
There, a campfire, smoking.

If it’s no longer there,
Here is a poem.
What’s left of it.