Stay together. Learn the flowers. Go light.

                                                                 --title from lines by Gary Snyder

1

At peace perhaps too much
a fine Spring rain
we seek news from the desert or capitol
of those who have dedicated their lives to losing their lives for us
adventurers, ancient honor, land runners
this campaign a must to advance one's career
a war president needs war

2

Walking among
bush, insects, predators
the bushman with a staff
no knife or gun
knows
names of plants, languages of mammals,
purposes of insects, placement of rocks

3

I've read about those remarkable souls who maintain self-control
among murderers and the unentertained multitude
who may have even spoken persuasively
at the right moment for speaking
and thus attracted a now unwanted immortality
there are only two ways you can tell
a bird of prey from a vision–humor and ritual

4

the Fedex gal
would be unlike taking off Emily Dickinson's clothes
over the counter perfume and spray paint hair
postman's shorts, black socks
a woman's legs are much like a man's
yet she too is beautiful, too beautiful, weekends
boating with her man

5

Suburbs, lawns, blankets
in a long, long nursery of babies
napping, old
and, I say this respectfully, blind
certain and uninterested
in motives more subtle than their immediate comfort
Who am I to complain?

6

Plants, poems: riches
our financial advisor doesn't count. Good and simple
a man as he is. Comes tousled
from early morning golf and puffy
from a late night fight or lovefest with his wife.
Inchworm
letting out its rope down an oak.

7

Late afternoon meeting
like the dry samara, achene or capsule surrounding a seed
how often have I tried to escape
my manhood, community, chamber of commerce
you cannot drive
the roads are theirs and the signs, perhaps
you can walk if you can name the plants and snakes and are willing to die

8

O happy family
there's some contentment in letting community and family decide
your place in it. Gatekeepers--
unconscious god, invisible hand, natural selection--
kind when refraining from violence
when not responding with force to the universe's effort
to extinguish them.


Copyright 2007 by Robert Ronnow.