Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Balcolm Canyon

There are only two kinds of
drivers on Balcolm Canyon road:
those who are scared and
those who are crazy.

They don't get along very well.

You can tell the crazy ones

They are driving right behind you.

You are driving right behind the scared ones.

But you keep driving over Balcolm Canyon,
both scared and crazy
until you are over the perilous road.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


The nimble forklift operator
stacks the orchard bins
neatly on the truck
as an afterthought
and speeds down my trees
playing a three dimensional
game of Tetris.
He stacks the bins by the truck
and then he stacks the bins on the truck
and then he disappears.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Grimes Canyon

Between my house and
mom and dad is a
curvy road cutting
through oil fields,
farms, and gravel mines.
The hairpin curves are
cut through sandstone
where graffiti is
deeply etched on the leeward side
and has been there
since I met my love.
I can handle curves
but I still grip the
steering wheel tighter
at the top.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Old tractors and new tractors

There aren't any new tractors around here.
The new tractor is from 1968
and it has seen better days.
Open heart surgery on the
rusty orchard tractor from 1958
(that came with the house)
saved it to work honorably some more
down the rows of oranges.
The implements are mostly rust-colored
and don't like to move to much
but they do sometimes and I think
that they like it around here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The cactus on the corner

Who knows but that the
neighbors are on to
something, keeping a cactus
on the corner next to the
irrigation pipe and
the orange trees.
Keep away the bunnies
and the coyotes
and the
Bardsdale dogs.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


And all at once the trees are purple and
joy reigns and the
sidewalks are purple
and then it goes away
until the next month and then
again all at once
more trees are purple and
joy reigns and the
sidewalks are purple again too
and then it fades to green.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Seedless tangerines

They put long white nets
over the tangerine trees
to keep them sweet and pure
Apparently the white veils
keep the naughty bees out.
I wouldn't know, that's
just what they say.

Friday, July 9, 2010


The big machine of death
comes by tall and steady
with chainsaws as arms
and terror wheels to move.
It cuts the branches and trees
into highway lanes
so you can drive fast down
them and not notice that
it is mechanized.
The sunlight can reach the
fruit and the farmer can make
more money,
But the mechanized death machine
passes by my house, loudly,
but doesn't touch

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fillmore on the Fourth of July

There is really no place like Fillmore
on the Fourth of July.
An oasis of Baghdad,
bombs o'erhead
and thrown at your feet
by scamps with smoke balls.
The sky lit up in fourteen places
at once.
Neighborhoods are out.
Chili cookoff.
Don't drive your car
but go to the car show and admire someone else's.
Tranquilize your poor dog.
(Poor poor dogs)
and let the boys have their fun.
But I really don't like the 4th of July.
I know that's unpatriotic.
But loud parties
and beer aren't for me
and I worry about the dogs.
Pop pop pop
ratta tat tat
Boom! up in the air
(followed by eleven illegal fireworks).
Neighborhoods smoky.
Street closed off.
St. Francis of Assisi Church
A refuge for the soul
(Fireworks for sale 2 for one).

Friday, July 2, 2010

Volunteer Palms

The little
palm trees
to sprout
in the sand
You don't have to go to the store.
Just look in the
ditch in