Thursday, December 20, 2018


Palominos Near Tuba City

In the desert of burning dreams, of armadillo and centipede,

I would call this night pitch dark back home

I would watch for any star to pass into dream song

or point of light called planet to whirl and twist like

a tiny pinwheel swallowing me to its vanishing point.

Here under pewter sky with words out of breath

I chase poems down like wild mares into fenced corrals

I watch close calls with wisdom rear and kick

against the fences of good judgment.

I used to think the skies brought them home,

thundering hooves and swollen bellies, ready to speak

and fire the dry bony floor, sulphuric aroma real as rain.

But now, the horses of white lightning gallop toward me;

afraid of nothing, they rush with an eye for hesitation

ready to brush up against my heart with their horse madness.

Here, it is the rider standing in the wavering heat, erect

and indisputable as a lightning rod braced in the open.

I stand my ground and wait, ready to hold on for dear life.


Denis Sweet
Palominos Near Tuba City
New & Selected Poems
Holy Cow! Press, 2018