Last night, a skunk swaggered
through the yard. Not too long ago
the skies were turbid like a teabag,
empirical proof that once language
abandons the heavens, it becomes
At first I thought the day
was about tender aging, backyards &
companionship. The wind not so fierce
to need fire, found my woodpile to ply
its trade against. North is a word that needs
no evidence. Winds and birds come from
it sure in their skins.
For some reason
today it’s Earthboy James Welch and nostalgia
is not fit for a decent burial. A river, an elder
I still love, arrives again gratis and sings through
its teeth. Last night I longed for someplace
until it disappeared.
About the Author: John Macker grew up in Colorado and has lived in New Mexico for 25 years. He has published 8 full-length books of poetry, 2 audio recordings and several broadsides and chapbooks over 30 years. His most recent are Atlas of Wolves, The Blues Drink Your Dreams Away, Selected Poems 1983-2018, (a 2019 Arizona/New Mexico Book Awards finalist), Desert Threnody, essays and short fiction, and El Rialto (a short prose memoir published by Dry Creek Art Press) In 2019, his poem “Happiness” won a Fischer Poetry Prize finalist citation, sponsored by the Telluride Institute. His manuscript, Acetylene Sunsets is in progress. He lives with his artist wife Annie and two mutts, Ruby Tuesday and Sean O’Casey. Has grandchildren, will travel.
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Image Credit: “Cloud study” Unknown maker, American. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.