UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
JOHN MACKER

Indian Summer

Autumn as much a notion as it is
warm day, handwritten
red crayon moon
above the canyon
in slow motion, a crisp
yellow leaf afloat in its singularity
flows down a shadowed stream
into the Roaring Fork
is peace

Miles Davis, kind of blue & low
a love potion
alone on my
old turntable
is peace
as peace is inevitably
the wild practice

of listening/
                 to a tribe of dry leaves or
waters reflecting currents
of transparent sunlight,
or a ravenís wing beat
the allure of pure high country
this time of year, the practice
of the seasonís
shortening days more
languor than furor;

thinking of war I canít help but
think of immutable total peace
yet some dayís farther from
warís cure than cancer-
itís going to take more than a sorcerer,
more than four horsemen,
where common ground isnít killing ground
itíll take more than simple necromancers
or incantations & there will be some
sort of solace
for the torturers,
a place of ballast they can go,
a river
& above the river

trees where
they can shed themselves of such
practices that keep them in the furor
of a common darkness
away from this morningís
October light.


Ghosting Sonora

       across this feral
gunscape,
in the shadow
of the desert bestiaries,
the murky,
ominous autumn calm of the red
rock necropolis,
in the blue darkness of
the ragged hondos,
ďa caked
           depopulated hellĒ

the stutterer, Juh,
Chief of the Chiricahua romps,
beat,
no born
to kill tattoos on his forearm,
has a tribe of bitter deaths to bury.
Sires three boy warriors
& one hundred
twenty years later
Guantanamo Bay is
run by the same scalphunters now
pursuing him across
the grim outback.

He never had to pray to
Priapus for the
endurance to defend his people
or confront
this American war with more war-
cohort of Mangas &
fire lord Cochise,
he lost the Mexican army in the fog.
As open a prayer as
pure space was
there was still
room for extinction,
the more he lost
the more he took it underground,
didnít have the mojo for lasting
opposition to
yankee ordnance
but he covered the
desert like hoarfrost.

Tonight, I salute the old chief with my
Cormac McCarthy
existentialist long road
whisky neat &
James McMurtry is
singing Too Long In The Wasteland;

one November he fell off his
Spanish pony into the river & drowned,
with his last breath
moon rise is provoked over a
red Mexican dusk,
     his taut shadow burns the bloody
myth of itself onto the cold
earth.









© 2007 Underground Voices