after my war ended, back in Oregon
one afternoon 
a crow appeared, midnight black 
iridescent purple and green 
in slanted sunlight,

flying from the south, 
with tales of magic, animal spirits
sorcerer, witches,
beady eyes staring, peering
summoning me to Imruis

plans made, maps read,
visit Powell’s collecting Carlos tales,
and others
     The life of mushrooms
     Cactus flowers

images of driving south 
24 hours to San Diego
turn left to Arizona
right at Tucson
breakfast in Mexico

do image traces 
linger forever? 
suddenly returning,

seen

when least expected, unexpected, 
un-thought of, unwanted
for years, months, weeks, 

longer,

in the far corners of my vision 
at the edges of this world 
a long dead cat appears in a doorway,

suddenly, 

disappearing when I turn my head 
to look directly at the ghost.
what magic brings them home?

perhaps,

a cruel joke of mind
unknown need of heart
perhaps the will of the ghost

mysterious,

I know nothing,
except the names
of my ghosts

Cribari brother’s 
hearty burgundy imported 
from California
before twist-tops, before boxes
passed back and forth, passengers to driver,
up switchbacks, climbing Dixie mountain up to john’s farm

passing second growth fir 
trees thin closer the top
fields appear, overgrown meadows 
tall grass, wild flowers strawberries, 
hay, Christmas trees, goats and sheep

always cooler above tree line
soft breezes set the hay dancing
colorful flowers waving in the sun
berries not ripe, but starting to get color
time to pick em in a week or two

walking up the meadow holding hands 
finding a level spot
sitting lotus, drinking john’s tea 
quickly drowsy laying back in the grass
 
I remember flying through a cloudless sky
above wild flower fields 
looking down at her laying in tall grass 
watching her own dreams 

smiling

characteristics of nature 
move, change, block sounds
that make up words 
challenging comprehension 
an argument for guessing

breezes move through the house 
confronting conversations
remaking words, blowing parts away, 
obscuring continuity
challenging listener understanding 

distance between rooms diminish sounds 
sentences separated by spaces
broken strings, incomplete sounds
listeners repair the broken 
filling in the blanks 

guest’s voices rise until
a pervasive din stops hearing,
lips move without words 
lip readers or pretenders
nod in agreement 

across the dinner table
neither wind or crowds are necessary
to confuse understanding      or mislead
changing expression will mask clues 
that give meaning to words

after too many dinners
misunderstanding becomes common
stopping listening until
the bridge of understanding disappears
in the fog

Lane Country Fair grounds
not far arriving in no time
carried on the tide
smoke and clouds all ways a great notion
park the bug check the oil
wait for Uncle Johns Band
thinking about Winterland near the bay
the great American highway
next stop a few days on the Golden Road
and the party the party the party
waking up, morning dew damp
sunshine light show
strobes pulsing through bench slats
coming to in a golden park
at first there was a where, then a how
the bug was nowhere, forever lost
now a what to do
looking around seeing
100’s of sparrows flying north
I followed them to the Greyhound
sleeping all the way to Tucson

after my war ended, back in Oregon
a crow appeared one afternoon
flying from the south, ominous foreboding omen,
telling me about magic and animal spirits
Sonora in the Sierra Madres
sorcerers and witches,
midnight black
iridescent purple and green
in slanted sunlight
piercing stare looking inside me
reading my spirit
knowing more than I
summoning me to Imruis

maps were read plans made
Powell’s visited
collecting Carlos
life of mushrooms
cactus budding flowers
vision-dreams driving 5 south
36 hours turn left at Arizona
then right at Tucson
breakfast in Mexico