i. skies sheer and vast
one small cloud comes east
this earth your sole companion
ii. skies left alone
last bird just flew
your only eyes meet the sky
iii. sky taller than any god
you rise up to meet it
hands stretching beyond the earth
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thousand year telegrapher;
worlds, long forgotten.
illuminates my skyline,
My God, an x-ray!
Weren’t you just here?
we canoed across the lake;
now it’s just water.
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Last ice still melting,
Tiny blossom just sprouted:
Winter’s tree or spring’s?
Sparrow chirping upon branch
Hawk silently descends
Sparrow lifts off: skys end.
Summer rain coming from nowhere
I throw up my hands
and throw off my shirt.
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Dreary late spring rain
waving clouds of leaves
dripping like morning news.
Polished the car
clouds pouring rain
more wax and wane?
Fishing, water, gossip
float my boat
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poem by Fred Leeds
I have a special drawer where I keep my arithmetic mistakes.
Pennies and division signs crouch there
in the dark,
their terrible irritability silenced.
In another drawer poetry waits to leap out,
ready to shock bookkeepers
with its goofy smile and baggy pants.
Store clerks crouch behind loaded bows and ribbons,
ready to strike when they see me approach.
It is always too late.
It is not that I dislike having things in order,
I just hate to see life’s wonder broken down
into fractions and decimals.
My imagination and I are plotting a revolution
against the whole rotten system,
if we can ever get organized
or learn to wait in line.
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poem by Fred Leeds
There goes Arizona.
It has not learned of Arizona from books.
It does not know its purple sunsets by hearsay.
It emanates sunsets as easily as it breathes.
Here comes Arizona.
It does not see itself in the mirror, cannot remember its own landscapes.
It becomes Arizona again each day, as if it were unsure.
It does not know that it is one of many states.
Can you see Arizona?
It lives and it dies as Arizona, determined and alone.
It is not only the Arizona that you and I know about, nor the one that others speak about, but itself.
That is its first task, of course: to fulfill itself as just one work.
Arizona is very right and very Arizona, but it is still dreaming.
One day it will catch America peering into one of its sunsets, and climbing back onto the map, it will awaken.
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