Dick Barnes

Granite Intrusive

Where the clean wind scours the rock⁠—
sun like a hammer, ice the other season⁠—
there’s the life, said the lichen,
that’s the life for me.

I’m so glad we found this place
murmured the moss
before the tourists came.

Root of a palo blanco
in thin bark like white paper
crept down over bare rock:
I like a place that’s been spoiled
just enough,
 said the root, snuggling in.

The rock didn’t say anything at all.
Why would it?


Dick Barnes

Looking for You

As they walked along the road, he noticed
a mouse hurry away in the grass

but didn’t think much about it;
he was talking. Was he so boring,

he wondered, looking at her eyes?
They were like agates. He faltered, asked her

Is anything wrong? No, nothing, she said,
but her voice said, You know there is.

They were expert at this
they both stood still

one false move
anyone could fall

but then they went on, the best they could, they had to,
while that mouse went on down into his hole.