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Posts Tagged ‘desert’

July Desert

Two old friends still young
when we crossed the desert.
We had never been out to that
barren beautiful madness,
we had never been
to many places then.

It was July fourth, I drove
your American truck through the
shifting landscape in changing light.
You, asleep from a Las Vegas hangover,
we had to make it to Albuquerque.

Little sparks interrupted the skyline
like gunfire, every desert town in
every direction celebrated independence.
Dozens of towns sent up their flares,
layers of color from two-second torches
bursting in the dark desert.

I drove through that warzone of happiness,
reflecting on how those towns came to be,
the settlement of scratching slowly west,
an impulse to be content stopping there
so that their cheerful explosions could
light up sparse plants and sand covered
bones, light up all the truck’s mirrors and windows
with color confusion, light up my face in the
windshield to make me look at myself for brief moments,
driving free as I would ever be across the July desert.

Kyle McHale           2015

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Barren Bone Place

Across the barren desert land,
Aging red rocks and cracking hands,
A place that I would not call home,
All rots and sits as deep white bone.

The mess I’m in I half know why,
The other half in dizzy sky.
I walk and climb, and climb and walk,
Nothing to say or think to talk.

Illusion’s my friend I believe,
Yet half the things I don’t conceive,
That large black kettle cooking pot,
Cooking the weak and dead that rot

From choosing a red rocky fate.
This place cares not of one’s mistakes,
The only things it understands
Are fleshy boney broken hands,

And broken wills and souls that try
To flee the things that made them cry.
The past is not a factor now,
The crumbling rock forgets somehow.

The past cannot follow one here,
Yet feeling thoughts remains unclear
Of where to go, what rock to climb,
Where to look, what to do with time.

Black kettle pots and vultures wait
For tired flesh to eat and take,
The quitted bones are on the ground,
Those souls gave up, they make no sound.

The small twisted sparse desert plants,
Shift and dance at a passing glance,
Are never there to help or harm,
To scratch my soul or take my arm.

The sky forgets but knows I live,
Not caring whole, will not forgive.
Curving trails of dry stream beds
Curve their way to my bone dry head.

The capsule body carries forth,
Costing what my soul is worth.
I see the vultures circling high,
Black they turn, falling as they die

To hit the dozen kettle pots
That dot the land in different spots.
One on a rock, one on a hill,
Three in a stream this place has killed,

One with the plants that’s passed around,
The rest on dry red rocky ground.
Each vulture hits, squeals and screams,
Sounds of nightmares, unpleasant dreams,

They cook down to their soul and bone,
My eyes watch fearing all unknown,
The water whistling dry pitch high,
Observing this, knowing that I

Have to reach my hand in to eat,
Know not this place and what to keep,
My hand in form of skeleton,
Melts off all my useless skin,

It drips back into water hot,
Awaking peaceful dreadful spot.
I eat the vulture heart as well,
Then wave my boney hand to smell

The air energy peaceful sweet,
In every bite my soul does eat
A piece of fractured split bone life.
Hoping day stays away from night,

Flesh returns to parts of this place,
Warm dusty air blows in my face,
Quitted bones become whole again,
Is this the beginning or the end?

Water spews out of kettles black,
Dry stream beds get their water back,
The bones of beasts fill up with flesh,
Vulture heart spirit in my chest,

Plants continue their dancing dreams,
Barren things I have never seen.
Life became what I did not know,
Distorted place where one must go.

Forces came to lock up my nerves,
Gripping dry time and where I was,
I stepped back to watch all the scene,
Surreal places, days and dreams.

I let everything in to soak,
Fleeting dreams and the last of hopes,
Praying to thank these characters,
I summoned strength back to my nerves.

Hope real finds me after this,
I left my mark and did not miss
What the place showed to offer me,
Those things I saw, now what I see.

Bone-flesh-black-kettle-pots fulfill
Emptiness I no longer feel,
What I choose to live as real,
By pausing once, and holding still.

A touching blend of swirling air
Let me pass to lead me here,
A world far away from that,
Only in dreams could I ever go back.

Kyle McHale      2009

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Dying in a Chair

I don’t want to die in a chair,
I’d rather be afoot somewhere,
To be out there when I’ve no air,
The men before me died in chairs.

For Pop-Pop faded in a chair,
All that he saw way over there,
The Pacific blood he went through,
Then understood what men must do.

For Gramps faded in a chair,
All that he saw way over there,
The prison camps that he went through,
Then understood what men must do.

For Dad faded in a chair,
All that he saw way over there,
That jungle hell that he went through,
Then understood what men must do.

I don’t want to die in a chair,
I’d rather be afoot somewhere,
To be out there when I’ve no air,
The men before me died in chairs.

Kyle McHale      2010

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Man’s Heart

Always now, as always then,
A place to form a perfect age,
When chivalry and better men
Had fine-tuned their sharp, skillful rage,
Or showed their love with letters sent,
With blood and earth on an old page.
Better or worse to woman that
Could then play puppet, tit for tat.

Always now, as always back
When only strength in men had failed,
Crushing thoughts of a woman that
Gave wind to an empty sail,
The only thing that men do lack,
Finding strength in loves betrayal.
Old knights and new knights do their best,
Holding hearts from a bursting chest.

Always now, as always ago,
Carried honor but could not pass,
Through or around the awful show
Of two body prints in soft grass
Where love was formed and made to glow,
But no one told not made to last.
A time or two duration of,
When honor thinks it can keep love.

Always now, as always had
To carry swords and steel plates,
But battle flesh is far from sad
When stacked against loving’s hate,
Of that which kills a lonely lads
Chance at keeping honors fate.
What swords of men, what honor set
Of traits can make good men forget?

Always now, as always past,
Dark ages come and go away,
It’s sweetest things that do not last,
That make men men in honors way,
Carrying forth the only task
To say the words when one must say,
I am man with armored heart,
I lead worlds that once were dark.

Kyle McHale      2009

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