John Poch  (bio)


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. 

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