Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Union Pacific #7

A gray board-&-batten shack in Owyhee
            sagebrush in a drizzle no one’s in-
                    side hasn’t been for years two
empty windows barbed 

            wire fence strung on weathered splits lining the 
ridge southward

            What’s anyone else about
at this moment or at this moment
            a tanker truck downshifting up an eastbound grade three
Harleys churning a mist on US 95
                        a stone gray sky

            anyone in California anywhere
                    under a lemon sun or
Pittsburgh under a lemon sun or Bozeman
                        where I don't know anyone
            under a lemon sun there was always a lemon
sun when I tried to look there are

                    two empty windows framed by gray
            a power pole with no wires connecting it
                        elsewhere the desert
dripping astringent green in this damp May
                    slate gray sky awash in crows

Jack Hayes
© 2010

[To see other poems in this sequence, please click on the "UP Poems" label]


  1. There's powerful aloneness in this one (even though solitary travel comes up in other poems in this series, this one is alive with aloneenss). The empty windows, the power pole with no connecting wires... all the questions about where everyone is - and I love how it concludes: slate gray sky awash in crows, which is beautiful in language, and I like the thought of the solitary person witnessing the crows' gregariousness.

  2. Hi HKatz: Thanks for that careful reading--very much appreciated. I do feel perhaps thatI'm "inhabiting" this series more as it builds.

  3. As with its companion pieces, I'm right there under that lemon sun. Such a vivid evocation of landscapes that I have never seen, but have dreamed of so often.

  4. Hi Dick: Thanks! I very much appreciate your interest in these poems. Not sure exactly where they're leading, but am happy to "go along for the ride" so to speak. Glad other folks are along as well.


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