Poems I spoke on the way to & from Thunderhill

I spoke these poems into my iPhone’s iTalk app, each paragraph being a continguous spoken section, and the paragraph breaks being a pause or gap in time. Poetry is inherently an aural art form and I hope that hearing them spoken adds to the experience for you, my dear reader. There are a couple on-the-spot edits in there as well, with the transcription being the final shape of the words. Choosing line breaks in the final written version was occasionally challenging. Enjoy if you might… (Note: I can’t get the audio files to play in Firefox but they work fine in Safari and likely other browsers.)

    Travel to Thunderhill (March 5, 2011)

The clouds hang in the valley
around the green
The trucks smoke in the rain
I will not investigate
the weeping in the bathroom
I will believe
I can stick to the road
I will believe
I can love again

The exit is open
but I do not take it
I travel forward
with a new destination
There is no moss growing on this tree

The confused geese fly east
and I wonder if they know something
I don’t

The thorny quilt of pine trees
blankets the hills
and it warms me
even as I pass them by

And now the fields are full
of flowering trees
and I shiver for the potential of the buds

The road is open,
I am free
I pull forward,
I spread my wings
I fly into the distance,
approaching I don’t know what 

    Return from Thunderhill (March 7, 2011)

I travel through
the regional highway
well-tended walnut trees
crouch and reach
and the cemetery — 
every gravestone has flowers!
pink, yellow, white
golden signs of love enduring
I am floored, I am flummoxed
I want to live here
I want to die here
The goat lies peacefully
and watches me pass

As I practice the warrior
in a rest stop
a man approaches
tells me he and his friend
don’t have enough money 
to get where they need to go
I tell him I’m broke
He walks away
I realized how relative it all is
The sound of a clarinet
floats through the beautiful, cold air
I ask the man
if his friend is playing 
the clarinet
and he says yes
Five dollars goes in the hat

Eyelashes are tiny veils
over the inner soul
and I think the flutter
must appeal 
the way a kimono
can be opened

A huge barn 
in the middle of the golden fields
is filled to the rafters with hay
and I am filled with hope 
up to my ears

Across the freeway 
I gape
at a metal cow, disemboweled,
lying on the ground,
bigger than life-size,
a testament to the land
Hope and death 
on either side of the road

Raindrops fall from the sunny sky
and I laugh
I see the clouds gather
on the other side of the hills
Their shadows darken the curves ahead
but I am not afraid

The sign says 
watch for snow
The road is strangely 
quiet and empty
The raindrops and sun
appear again
I wonder where the road travels
between the hills
It doesn’t look frightening
I am nervous 
but collected
I proceed,

The fattest rainbow greets me at eye-level
as I crest the peak,
descend from snow to wet
Relieved, I think I know
what the rainbow means

I say goodbye to California,
golden land of opportunity
and shitty pavement

A small woman trudges beside the road
and I wonder what’s in her bag
A factory chimney belches the whitest smoke 
into the sky
I don’t believe it
I pass the truck carrying huge, dead trees
and I feel great sorrow,
sick inside

Jacob’s ladders shoot through the clouds
and I lift, warmed

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