He bleeds the running ditch to soak the pasture.
The farmer, shovel-armed, digs trenches where
the water doesn’t want to cover and masters
the blue to green his gold high desert square.
Once, Tiwa hunted hares on this sagebrush mesa.
Now blue fingers crawl through dust, and might
is mud all day. The summer sun’s eraser
would scribble ought on his land and water right.
A cloud on one ridge ten miles out, a bush
of smoke, of burning forest from a lightning strike
last night, now speaks up with a sudden rush
of wind. Where there’s fire there’s smoke—ghostlike.
White, throbbing fists of storm clouds threaten rain.
His dark indignant muscles flex like Cain.