Peaceable Kingdom

This is the peaceable kingdom
where the red-winged blackbird
chatters like a squeaky gate,
where red hawk and raven alike
mount the wind,
and canyon staircases
echo and scatter bird song.

In the stillness of noon-day heat
only lizards dart into view
reflecting spring’s subdued greens:
lichens, weeds, juniper
and wind disheveled needles
of evergreens.

On a forest path,
a flash of lightning:
one gold lily waits
expectantly,
as still as a predator.
Peer within her three petals
to three thin crescent moons
of scarlet.

Clouds climb weathered rocks
where water ran,
mirroring a sky
whose treasured color
is not the red or russet of sunset
but windswept, rain bearing
clouds of gray.

Raindrops nourish the earth,
and when rain spends itself,
the forest pays the ocean its tithe,
each spent drop beginning
its long inclination
to the sea.

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