Sandhill Cranes Across the Fence

Standing in water
just beyond a barbed wire fence,
four sandhill cranes
stood on straw thin legs.
Their long, pointed beaks
glared in the sharp morning light.

One lifted its snake neck.
The golden eyes stared
across the fence where I stood.
The crane’s silver body was as stiff
as an electrical pole.

We stood watching each other
waiting for the other to move.
A green Dodge drove by. Frail
dandelion seeds fluttered between
us. Those cirrus clouds close to earth broke
our gaze. The crimson crowned bird
lowered its head and continued feeding.
I watched those sandhill cranes
before heading to my car:
business as usual.

Hackers Stole My Passwords

The screen showed
no document titled “password.doc.”
Planes flew in circles inside

my head. Disappeared
documents, nonfunctional email,
Internet, a digital sloth.

All subtle signs of a malicious
software designed by black hat hackers
to chip away my motherboard and CPU.

The prospect left chills
down my spin. On creeping
Internet access, website

writers well-versed in malware
and their symptoms ease
me into computer hacker lingo

where bots are street vendors,
drug dealers, or gangbangers selling
products to lag at best and kill

at worst. Several forums suggested
products free and fast acting
to cure my computer’s affliction.

Within several hours, the tower was running,
but dear document “password.doc”
was lost

in the
B i nar y
C o de.

English Riders

Their backs perfectly erect,
English riders pettily gaze at Western riders.
Pointed toes poke through iron stirrups.

Legs wrapped around mares, stallions,
In perfect sync with their mounts;
Their backs perfectly erect.

Fields of green, broken by fences
Chestnuts, browns follow baying hounds.
Pointed toes poke through iron stirrups.

Zigzagging prey dart from bush to bush.
Felt jacketed riders spur their warmbloods,
Their backs perfectly erect.

Tempi changes on the diagonal
A pirouette at “B.”
Pointed toes poke through iron stirrups.

Obedient beasts directed until the end:
Superiority complexes spike off the scale
Their backs perfectly erect.
Pointed toes poke through iron stirrups.

Plowing In The Niverais Painting

A chestnut ornate frame to border
our march through muck
my brothers and I
in front,
next to,
behind me.
We haul the heavy planks, drawing lines.
My tongue lulls
from my gaping mouth. Our drivers stride
to my right flexible hide
swaying in the wind, cracking when our steps
falter; the other pressing
pieces of wood dull and shiny
into the ground, corrugated.

Old and young come to view
our painter’s handiwork. Some move in close
to see the clumps of dirt
or the distant rolling forest.
Others stand back to admire our strain
on this forever hot and muggy day.