Pioneers

Pioneers

What manner of man is summoned

by this shattering light

by these gaunt square miles

of grandeur

beckoning to the outcast moon?

Who do the gulches — red wash split silt gaps

in the sandstone monoliths —

cause to cry

to cry out        shout in dry lightning

revel

in the lengthening groundrays

of open dawn?

What manner of woman is cushioned

in dust hardness

sleeping between slow day sheets

clawing for each fragrant rain?

Who is she who listens to every apple’s growing

and holds the green

inviolate —

a velvet lullaby talking in her womb?

These are gothic pitchforks in each hand.

These are guns, carved arrows

barefoot steel         and laughter

across the slow smiling winds.

People too full of sky and desert cactus

to create

install instead

oases of small fulfillments.

They own these graves.