Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Besmilr Brigham—Issue 49, January 2015)

Crossing the Violent Land: Camino del Diablo

We woke, ice and crisp snow, falling

tiny flakes in wind gusts on edge

of storm

creeping across the canyons, high

mountain prairie of sleet

white ridge of unmelting moisture

trail between stretched wire, frozen pastures,

a brilliance on brilliance

absorbs the clinging earth

No less fierce than

heat, this day mid-July, dry and

that clean clear stretch of road that runs

straight with the sun, endlessly

a cord set with the equator, equi-lateral,

a balance

without greenness—

escaping from . . . the Crossroads

of town and congestion, cool wind at night

(a tornado bank lay to the North, and,

studying the triangle,

we turned angling into clouds that

lay no less stark

driving in darkness

for the hills) and how rare

the vibrant sun appeared with morning

This was the Conquerors’ route—

a range for buffalo, trail of terror,

remnants of tribe people

driven from valley settlements, the hunted;

the hills are named

from old meanings, the watch in blood

(and we are going back,

the years behind us,

for a last stand . . . in a measure of trees,

looking for clear water)

All night the wind blew, and we could

see no light. we lay on a porch, old house,

slept there;

(and it was good to see in the hard

even places

the still ground cooling) we lay

as roots

and the wind blew over us

our foot prints in the bright dust


lifted in gushes of air, white

like moonlight

Going cold again, here

in this East place

where trees have fallen in rampage since

we left it,

the grass grown stark, folded in

a top of green, and the willow dead—what

holds man to a place? The rains come

and Indian summer

and the road to Nowhere . . . stretches in

wonder (the old ones

sleep still as ghosts under their covers) we

prepare also

for our days of stillness, the evolution

of frost