Poems from Ochre Tones



The benediction in the air—

A lizard, translucent and newly-broken

From its shell, kisses the earth

At sundown, repeating the ritual dance

Of marsh and cloud dragons.


My best friend Grace says baby lizards

Are messengers, presaging heat or rain.

She believes in omens: earth calling

The littlest creatures to drink

The first mists of evening.


Who is to say it is instinct, merely,

Or moisture-need, that makes us

Crawl or bend our lizard lips

Unto the ground? Dusk cools our fevers

And there is joy in this surrender.


Even now, the tips of bamboo leaves

Hold watergems. In the early evening air

I remember Grace, and somewhere,

An old gecko clicks its rhythmic

Yes                yes                   yes.