1. Ping Me

for Shoshi

Now we can calculate precisely
how lost we are:

30 satellites triangulate the globe
in 2-meter segments.

Bluetooth beacons
track us in aisle 11.

Alerts, in silver and amber, beckon
the dispossessed and disoriented.

600 million computers call
an empty field in Kansas, home.

For those still brave
enough to love,

listen to gray tree frogs
chirping in the bare magnolia.

Follow their songs deep
into the uncharted night.

Note: MaxMind, the largest database of computer IP addresses, assigns every computer without a specific street address to the Taylor Farm in rural Kansas.

2. April

The sudden gust and roar
of a thunderstorm blows

like the world will end.
But, of course, it doesn’t.

Spring spreads,
unmanageable as mint.

3. Ode to a Moon Cactus

O Cactus,
you’re running crazy
no longer eclipsed
by that gaudy red leech of a ball
you shouldered so submissively
so willingly. Just look at you spill
branches, angled and askew, your sense
of duty and balance fleeing.

Out from under a world of burden
what would I do
but wander barefoot
in golden orchards of the sun
and pick. . . at last. . .
perfect apples by the dozen.

4. Nest Building

The first few years, mud and struggle
filled our yard. Longing for birdsong,
you played tapes of songbirds,
and kept a cage of finches.

Now, magnetite, DNA, scent, and star,
faithfully guide our sparrows.

to cherry
to deck,
gather up bits of chickweed,
oak twig, twine, cedar scrap,
grass, and bark,
constructing yet another nest
under the retracted awning,
and the air sings
crescendos of lilting reassurance
that biology and fate
will lift us homeward.

5. Song

I reread a poem of mine,
and the word “song”
had been replaced
by two mathematical signs:

≥ ÷

I smiled, knowing song
is at least as great as division.

Was the change through luck,
accident, a power surge,
or through transmutation
like Aristotle’s redstarts into robins

each winter?

I have no explanation.
Even under intense observation,
change can be a haphazard thing.

What can explain
the urgency of a rose;
its unifying sweetness
proliferating through the air?

6. The Connected Life

Sweet sugar snap peas,
your tough strand of bitterness
binds you together.

7. Highway Exit with Fields

Years before we moved here,
you wondered why anyone would.

That was long before we saw
what grows on fallowed farmland.

we just drive by places like this—

never stopping to learn
how spring ripens a rippling field of hay,

how to see past the first few
rows of corn, deep in idling summer,

or witnessing the inexorable creep
of house, school, and shopping center—

until the nature of nature
wholly escapes us.

Then, last week
a double-rainbow bloomed,

vibrating rain and light.
As if two weren't enough,

I imagined a third
intersecting arc.

The world stands before us, ready
to scatter its everyday revelations

in wavelengths—distinct and shining—
at the exit up ahead.