Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Whirlwind Places

Heat waves dancing upon the surface
Gather together in a summerlong
Celebration of dryness
Blowing across the bare fields
Bordered by beans and sorghums

Johnson grass and desolate ditch banks
Christ signs of power and communications
Stand steadfast and prostrate
As whirlwinds swirl by in droves

Driving ever onward to the Southeast
Towards their Pecos home
Past piled manure drying in the sunshine
And pistachio and almond
Freshly shook from their holds

For some odd reason
In this narrow swath in heated lands
These hot wind roamers are birthed
Ten an hour all summer long

A strange combination
Of topography and swirling breezes
Create electric currents
Amongst the heat and dust

Filling teeth and hair
And nostrils with fine grit
Of evershifting tillings
And chaffings of topsoils

If one were to draw
A line on the map
This trail of wind would whirl
From the Golden Gate to here

Straight up into the heart
Of the South Fork of the Tule
With it's reservation
Of ancient descendants of this land

Over the Sierras
Into the Sonoran Desert
Past the vortexes of Sedona
And straight on to the Pecos

Where Old Bill
Finally puts a lasso on 'em
Under the howlin' moon
In the lone star sky

The Yokuts knew of a place
Where the whirlwinds blew
A rock formation named Mawyucaw
Just above the river plains
At the base of the mountains

Here shotgun blasts from cowboy poets
Ring in the first day of dove season
Among the oaks and giant sycamores
Backdropping the fertile bull pastures

Once home to elk and antelope herds
Hunted by the ancients
With obsidian tipped spears
And arrows that whirled through the air


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