Noxious Weeds of Washoe
Focusing on unhealthier practice
we found ourselves out in the garden’s weeds.
Our gloved hands deep within Dyer’s Woads,
to pull and pull roots of Hoary Crests.
These noxious military trespassers
Similar to battle that became us
here between Mountain Grass and Fountain Grass.
This or needing St. John’s Wort for a cure.
If neither of us look up eye to eye?
The Sun? Or African Mustard and Rue,
Star Thistle, Mayweed, or Water Hemlocks.
I notice in your hair, by ear, a fly,
you say “to Pyramid Lake with our few,
to play in the waves and climb massive rocks.
Pyramid’s Small Limpets
After a sudden change of forward push,
our children run onto hot snail shell sand,
a lake on Nevada’s Old Paiute land,
these still ancient waters here to nourish.
To start a collection, Pyramid snails,
empty husks, Mollusca Gastropeda.
Shadowed pyramids of worn down tufa,
to collect each broken shell in our pail.
Aztec moon god Tecciztecatl’s crowns
adorned jewels of gold on spiral crest,
to gaze upon collecting lost shelter,
to translate dulled speech from many bird sounds,
“and so you stay until you turn to dust,”
eaten by birds and dried by the swelter.
Home to Northern Paiute
We all swim in water close to the beach
away from Paiute Cui Cui Ticatta,
the dark blue depth of Fugue and Toccata
where Cut Throat trout are far out of our reach.
Our mysterious water babies swim,
their ears underwater could not hear curses,
the rhetoric of goodbye in our verses,
to play in the waves with each random whim.
This water holds a curse within it’s myth,
a mermaid fell in love with one Paiute,
the tribe could not accept her as woman.
A Foul air spoken from watery cliff,
a cause for Fremont’s carnage to take root.
A party of Two’s anger to summon.
Home to Owens Valley Paiute
Iamb’s love poems, not poems of war,
the memory of war, ghosts of violence,
drunken swimmer, raid party bodies dense,
will ripple with our movement to the shore.
The children stop to examine litter
as their weight pushes each foot into sand,
to step off the beach onto solid land,
to disrupt branches, as lizards skitter.
We waring parties, tufa towering
formations away, to use as our height,
to look down upon casualties of play.
To reach each rock, a new discovering,
a path, a cone to lead us out of sight,
our feet upon this broken glass like clay.
Home to Southern Paiute
My oldest son moves just beyond the roam,
my youngest tries to grip the rough limestone
tufa, to hold my daughter’s feet, alone
to porous homes of ancient diatom.
This tufa firm foundation, to grab hold,
of my family’s deep alkaline waters,
supersaturated by Calcite wars,
silent Calcium Salt stories are told.
The same tufa barrage seen in Europe
around Matlock in United Kingdom
or western Australia’s Southwestern coasts.
Tufa guards our children’s families, our hope,
each porous hole counted to a great sum,
a symphony of voices, Paiute ghosts.
Our unions strain remains above the air.
Our return home has only brought silence
a temporary break from violence,
the violence of marriage turned to war.
Some beauty, like the beauty of the lake,
derives from creation of history,
from moments that seem to erode away
the ground once stood on for erosions sake.
So still, surrounded by trespassing weeds,
to forget the snail shells under our feet,
to forget creation myth of tufa,
or our footprints in the sand by the reeds.
To check buoyancy of our family float,
as I stare at desert sunset in awe.
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