Dancing Bear

Dream of Ghost Horses

through smoke
they come
here to carry me
across lakes and rivers
marshes and meadows

each a painted hand
they are more than horses
eyes stare into me

the horses carried my father
but he did not see them
come in darkness

he does not remember
only the dreams

they are not horses
they are the memory of horses

tall elegance among pine and spruce
dark beautiful manes spill
out of their necks

I think of Crazy Horse
sneaking into camp
steals these horses for love

each night Appaloosa hooves
pound the ground of my head
stealing me
into the fog of the world
the woolly cotton of dreams

they stand on the other side
bend themselves to drink
from the river I once played in

stare into me
knowing me
better than I know my father


I think of you and the frozen ground
of Escanaba        It is March
the month
you were born
some twenty years before me
Do you wonder at what has become
of your son
My hope says     yes
yet  here I am
outside the windows and the doors
of white washed houses
walking alone
on a quest that will not end for me
till I have resolve
Nine tiny numbers
leave  me wondering if you are even alive
Nine tiny numbers that
are like the numbers of a combination
lock     that rests firm and solid
on the door where your soul is hidden behind
Your service record
gives me six 
now three remain unknown
Three numbers and I will know
what day of March to celebrate
your birth
and what day    if any
you died
And raise a glass of fire water
to the spirit of my father
and hope somewhere
on another street of white houses
you wander in search of a son

Dream of Suicide

driving through the badlands again
radio blasting the Eagles

one of these nights

seventy mph middle of the road
headlights pulling stars

..crazy ol' nights..

pull the door handle and push out
asphalt river below singing to me 

..in between the dark and the light..

stand up the door and roof steady me
drop my feet and feel them rip away

I do this three four five times a month

some nights driving home
fantasize about the highway under me
the rip away feeling
in wind

one time on highway 280
between SF and SJ
found the Eagles one of these nights
on the radio
reached for the handle
and pulled it
--much harder than I thought--
hard resistance
saw the road racing away
scared white
door slams
twist the dial
dreamed of something different

     Like Sleeping in America

he wanted    to sleep in her    America
  among fallen stars  tilted palm trees
 in concrete canyons  asphalt deserts
  he slipped a finger  into her pocket
         hoping   for change
someone played   saxophone   on the corner
blues for the uninterested overpopulation
    she stared   into his eyes
     said_stay_   _damn it stay_
      but the whistle blew
a slamming can garbage man chorus
  and the first egines  turned over
      for early commuters
      he knew he should call in sick
  even as his ambulance drove away