Fire cleanses the ranger

Every forest needs a fire
To prune the excess

A ranger comes down the hill
Choking a hose
Arcing it heroically

The cabin just stood there, aflame
No one was screaming within
No signs of hysteria
Of impending grace
They’ll be rewarded in…
…But he couldn’t worry about that

Hoses could only stretch so far
That was a legitimate thing to worry about
As the feral flames rose majestically to the sky
Maybe the stream would provide solace
Stave off grace for a little while

And so he went to the river
And returned to a husk being consumed by fire
Nothing to worry about
Except the family members of ghosts

Rangers didn’t have the finesse of surgeons
Nor the masks that hid sincerity
Or even the prestige that gave them a noble air
What did rangers have that would offer security
To those being spoken to?

But sometimes sentinels of the wild need a bit of calamity
In order to wake them up
Shoving them into the real world
Injecting authenticity back into the urban centers
Enduring the wails of broken hearts
Shaking the hands of mayors
Whatever was necessary

Proving that
Pine trees, mountains, even raccoons
Gave a ranger a peculiar grace
Not necessarily inferior to the surgeon’s
Just peculiar.


A person, a thing

Another minute down
Sand still faced timeless structures
So it turned to something less intimidating
A person thing
Not a person
A thing

He trod on grass
Bedewing the green carpet
With a mist of his own
But dew from a man wasn’t enough
Such a thought was hubris
That it would be enough

He had to try, though
To escape from the heartland’s prison
Or his own warped version
That was mapped onto great plains
Sinking into grain silos
Rotting cows and the sides of barns
Tainting the grass on which he stood
Painting the sky a delicious pink

Time was maturing
Becoming quite beautiful and ripe
Honoring its advanced age
The prison seemed sweet again
And the bars came tumbling down


Federal Employees/Scarecrows

To hell with the bureaucratic bloat!
All its members march off like scarecrows
To that big roaring fire that is their collective destiny
You can see that they are afraid
Straw down-turned to inspire pity
Don’t be fooled!

Even sadness can be Machiavellian
Says the dictator
At the first sign of weakness
They’ll happily come marching back
Writing industriously in their offices
Gesturing at ghosts
And the phones married to them
Stamping reports with aplomb
Nodding sagely at unheeded air

This is the hell that they
Would place on you
Without so much as a second thought


He trips. He soars.

Something wet he tripped on
A little too ripe for his tastes
But unavoidable all the same
He blamed the words
Told them they were wrong
Even though the source
Was as presidential as they come

His counterpart was a tyrant from the future
Across the murky world of fish and coral reefs
Similar things were said
Except one word was slanted too steeply
Now He of the Mighty Famine
Is exposed
Maybe deposed

Right before those fatal movements
He trips. He soars.
Transporting ballistic national pride
Above the inspiring waters


Lucky 3

What happened to the fourth leaf?
Was it eaten?
Squished in the hand of a tyrant?
Blown away by the blind storm?

The storm was selective with its hand
Weaving destruction delicately with a soothing aftermath
No one thought to check on the old schoolteacher
Or the silver-haired man rocking his life away
Not even the hunched over patron of the river

A rising tide
Obscured a sky splitting into a thousand pieces
And the merciless theft of a clover’s fourth leaf
Nature crafts a web of sorts
Deal with it


The Universe of Fetid Breath

The fetid breath of a broken man
Created a massive universe
Radical Carnage
Epic Disaster
Shock to the Hillside

Fuzzy brains just want coffee
But it’s too late for that
And too early for
“Two-Toes Swamp Dweller”

It’s also true that language
Doesn’t usually address glaciers
Or pockets of warmth in the
Aquatic Kingdom
Just give it a shot next time
When the earth has reset
And governments decide
For the same structure then as now
In a unifying miracle

Maybe the glaciers will give you curt nods
A sign of respect
They will hold the line
As they are pitted against nukes
Let loose by a very successful man