Saturday, March 10, 2012

Night Passage to Richland

I. Moonrise over Arlington
The great blades turn
carving chunks from the evening breeze, burning them
like so many cords of wood. Each windmill
is topped with an ember, a scarlet spark
fueled by a slice of night wind.
Red lights blink along the cliffs, hundreds of them
like a Christmas garland thirty miles long.
But the big orange light above the bluffs--
that's solar-powered.

II. Tower Road Rest Stop

Trucks, lined up like cattle--
they groan like cattle, they smell like cattle--
at least, one of them
smells of cattle. Leafless willows and Russian olives
stretch to the sky, sink skeletal toes
into the warming earth. Spring is coming. Dawn will bring
ragged Vs of waterfowl criss-crossing the air.
Now under the risen moon, dozing herds
grumble and shift.

III. Cresting the Horse Heaven Hills

Three hours on the road; the moon
grown from a sullen orange slice glimpsed above the bluffs at Blalock Canyon
to a Chinese poet's jade plate, hung in the sky. Bright enough
to fade the lights at McNary Dam. Too dim to illuminate
the valley below us
where streets outline the surrounding hills
with a sparkling contour map.
Somewhere down there the river goes about its ancient business
with the moon's help
rocking geese and swans to sleep.
All journeys end in sleep.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

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