We pick up the cows where we lost the goats.
They look back at us, dully sensual, shiny, forgiving,
lumber up the volcanic trail. Hoof deep, we’re all off-balance.
This lava moonscape, land of black chasms and craters.
A land just out of the kiln.
Cows? They look back, we lumber on.
Wild calla lilies in the brambles.
Smells of mint, local cheese, dreamy orange blossom, earth.
Bird of paradise among the grey feathered lichen.
Dwarf trees, giant leaves.
Birds sing doo-wop; cats saunter sphinx-like.
Wild dogs bark at a clearing.
A greeting committee comes to the black stone fence;
our friends ramble away, we keep going.
Canopies of trees, serpentine trunks.
The forest goes dark — someone turned off the lights.
Along the ravine, trees grow from both ends,
bird calls muffled, like wading into the Galapagos.
The earth as a process, dreamed differently.
Cactus and rain forest side by side as a lamb and a lion might lie.
The Azores — remember — where man
entered late. And still remains stranger.