Saturday, May 16, 2015


sixty six, claremore
camps near the ‘eat’ sign, t’make sure
he doesn’t forget

oke city highrise –
t’th’north, fireworks, t’th’south, good old boy
getting arrested

his fourth - tales of old
ragtown, anadarko, tribes
whose lands were taken

wall ‘f banjos ‘n bricktown
reflect ‘gainst their glass case – now
they’re safe from th’air con

down through oke city
th’sun beats down on th’motel sign,
th’faded oasis

tales of th’one lane bridge –
lived near sapulpa, ‘n’ he’d fish
rock creek, just t’watch th’show

grand lake downpour blinds
all but those who know by heart
road to fishin' hole

green country downpour –
spends th’summer weekends ‘t grand lake,
always plenty ‘f fish

dog days in lawton
'f you thought soldiers would be out
you were mistaken

lawton’s blazing sun
folks who live here seem t’adjust,
not a soul on th’street

avoids th’will rogers
take th’land, says th’guy ‘n th’melon truck,
then charge us t’use it


plains outside lawton
even th’old motel’s air con
can’t beat th’pow’rful heat

baseball ‘n oke city
short hop, pitcher t’ th’first baseman,
couple ‘f small earthquakes

okemah native
knows well your sultry welcome -
completely ignored

blazing lawton sun
keeps folks off streets and hiding
in army's air-con

ain't the first outlaw
these ouachitas ever hid
on a summer night

wildflow’rs on th’free road –
chandler man likes sixty-six,
no use f’r th’will rogers

bricktown cowboy’s lass –
not as sure ‘bout th’drinking he plans
f’r th’labor day weekend

near judy ranch - dusk,
marsh grass - southbound whooping cranes
also stop to rest

judy ranch sunset –
south ‘cross th’prairie, th’whooping cranes
‘ve chosen this spot t’land

out by th’judy ranch,
he says, work’s hard, ‘n’ th’weather’s bad –
stops t’watch th’southbound cranes

road to stillwater -
sunset on rust-colored fields,
hawk scans for his prey

two-lane t’stillwater
th’hawk scans th’frosted sorghum field,
th’kids think ‘bout breakfast

town like okemah,
first frost ‘n’ they watch th’trav’ler –
best not mention th’name

piercing eyes, pumpkin
patch, anadarko back road -
our worlds, so different

‘round sunset he stops
at th’anadarko pumpkin stand –
simple transaction

lifted weights in barn,
play'n for th'sooners, tornado
took all but the weights

drillers on th’weekend –
motel showers, beer ‘n’ fritters,
‘n’ th’soonersquarterback

playing for th’sooners
when th’twister hit – decided
never t’leave home ‘gain

near ada, coffee's
weak, stuffing's dry - in a booth,
an old man says grace

complains ‘bout th’stuffing,
th’ada man says grace and flirts
like he did at home

cranberries from th’can
ada man burns th’last ‘f his smokes,
family’s long gone


hot tea for th’long drive –
‘n clinton, says th’arapaho,
least made it t’ th’highway

heard th’champagne bottles –
th’earthquakes, says th’edmond wine clerk,
might ‘s well get used t’em

th’howling guymon wind –
can’t help see th’wrapping paper
up ‘gainst th’barbwire fence


salt trucks ‘n th’yukon roads,
strong coffee, ‘n’ both hands on ]th’wheel –
he knows all th’exits

arches ‘bove th’freeway
with th’freezing rain, hesitate,
‘n’ you might have trouble

tulsa truck stop tale –
hitching t’th’coast t’see his girlfriend,
th’ice storms delayed him

clinton mcdonald's -
exchange of hot tea, cold hiker
'n' cheyenne arapahoe

broken bow trucker,
road salt on th’overalls too –
not sure what he said

panhandle ranchers
on windswept plain - another
bag of sand in truck

frigid guymon morn –
th’plains wind blows th’wrapping paper
up against th’barbed wire

kaw nation's coffee -
at th'border sign, he spills some
on th'icy gravel

yukon’s glazed freeway –
he knows by heart th’license plates
of th’native nations

kids with happy meals,
below, m'ssouri-bound cars
swerve on sleeted lanes

rest stops near tulsa
march tornado blows semi
westbound to eastbound

'don't drive through smoke' sign
asks what kinds of fires you'd see-
spring in green country

spring ‘n th’field ‘f empty chairs
she comes here a lot, us’ally
doesn’t cry like this

her ex worked th’gun shows –
spring rain ‘n th’reflection pool – just
happened t’meet those guys

spring ‘t th’survivors’ wall
she tells how he told them ‘bout
ammonium nitrate

ouachita mountain
backroad leads down into fog -
blossoms still hiding

fog in th’ouachitas
may be that some folks live here,
like th’flowers, hidden

come down off th’high plains,
ouachita mountains draped ‘n fog –
secrets waiting t’bloom

slept ‘n th’field ‘f goldenrod
ouachita mountain rain comes,
‘n’ he’d like t’find th’people


rain ‘t th’survivors’ wall
she watches all th’schoolchildren
splashing in th’puddles

panhandle rancher –
impatient with th’devil’s claws
pulls from th’puppy’s fur

may rains grip tulsa -
docent listens to tramp's tale
of storming dachau

helmet’s from dachau,
says th’bum t’th’docent – sheltered now
from tulsa’s may rains

bois' city founders
sold dreams with no more substance
'n these spring tumbleweeds

grand lake, bait ‘n’ tackle –
th’fish seem t’be hungriest
either side ‘f th’spring rains

i’m serious, she says –
th’flow’rs ‘n th’wichita mountain field
called th’indian blanket

june wedding – guymon
groom shows th’cowboy boots he’ll wear,
‘n’ th’bit he made for th’bride


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