STONES ACROSS THE SKY

1.

A boy, slingshot in hand,
scrambles along trail and stream.
A woman, window framed,

slips away, her
departure heightens
the dark interior.

The intestinal moan
of a three-wheeled tempo
as it rounds the corner

settles in my own intestines.
“Old paper”, “used bottles”, cries
sans crier. A bark-less dog

first there/ then nowhere
A slingshot flung stone
Whimpering, the ghost dog

turns tail and runs

2.

Sunlight glares
off a rooftop water tank.
Smoke rises

from a forsaken stream.
A single tree remains
near the stump-lined shore

In its shade, a girl turns
the pages of a comic book,
in its branches,

a quicksilver flurry,
on my neck
a cool breeze from the southwest

All day on the roof
dispelling thought/ dispelling
drowsiness

As if I were skipping stones
across the sky

3.

Bricks spill from a backed up truck
Bricks piled in the dark, then tossed into baskets
weigh down dream

Between the embers of sleep
and the flame of waking, the moon escapes
on its soft padded paws

4.

The patter of rain
ceasing. A hammer’s
dull thwang.

A saw’s spiraling buzz
Light breaks through mist
The slate grey hills

undulate. Moonstones
in a whispered palm
Thwip thwip

wings in a hurry
This wide cast net catches a single bird’s
sonorous diction

5.

Out of the gray mist Clllaw
clllaw
a hawk swoops.
A woman’s clipped strident voice

A motorcycle grumbles
to a near halt
and turns. Far away, the chain saw

persists. Clllaw
Cllaw!
No one owns
the silence

6.

Clang of hammer on metal
The slow steady whooooooosh
thump of wooden hoes.

A soft shifting of curve and line,
the woman at the window
loosens and combs her long black hair.

Let’s go! Boys shout
as they clamber over the fence
and down to the stream.

The girl drops her comic
Mahabarata, as she reaches for the branches
where their kite is caught.

An old man in canvas shoes
hurries to keep up with his cows.
Are they herding him?

7.

Rumble of chilies
pounded, pestle to stone.
That eerie cry, close

yet far. A child?
A goat? The decisive
twaaong of a bell

The rapid twaptwap
twap
of a sadhu’s hand-drum
A handful of diamond chips

tossed into the blue
Coming from nowhere
glint/ glare/ glow

8.

Clear cool flow I hear
but cannot see. Knee deep in thought,
drawn down, down

unsteadied by crosscurrent
and surge, a somersault of sound
and image. Years ago I wrote:

“The running river
wakens me”. Wraparound
gaze, untrammeled

blue, “out swim the horizon”
as if sky were a sea
and light were gilled breath

9.

Clang of gate/
someone has come
Who?

Clang of gate/
someone has left
Who?

Afterimages…
The sky no longer
all around

10.

No bark/ no pad of feet,
no swish of tail, no breath stink
as it moves in, mouth

foaming
PHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!
A hurled sound

catches me
unaware.
The dog that barks at night,

all night long,
curls asleep on the road
while I dream it

awake
PHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!
And gone

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