Three Poems

More, after Quixote and Van Gogh

He’s growing a farm covered
with one of those portable
barns, biggest barn in the world,
and he’s inventing
a fatter pig and new strain
of corn with symphonic tassels.

The fields vibrate, combust,
ablaze one minute, snuffed
the next with his giant
sprinkler system
hanging from a cloud – a certain sign
of benevolence.

All he needs is the media.
The gun, its fire power louder
than slicing an ear – they’d have to listen
then. How easy the act of pulling
something off, how quiet
without the voice

Drought in the Horn

All the men have gone from Hadado
with the livestock to find water or towns
like Mado Gashi and Duse to find jobs.

All the men have left Hadado.
Latitude 1° 29′ 00″ N.
There used to be grasslands.

The women are left raising the children.
Around the scrub grass and ant hills
the ground eats at itself. Dirt blows.

The women work to raise the children.
The children attend school in shifts.
Skinny camels sniff the wind.

Women feed their children ugali.
They draw water from a borehole.
The water shivers with swimming things.

The children are shivering.
In Hadado the women wait
for their husbands. For rain.

Government-Issued Winter:
The Poet Gives a Talk

Ladies and gentlemen,
it is difficult to adjust to driving on a highway
with upside-down signs and no lines.

This is the time of holding on to maps,
menus, receipts, and lines of poetry
you memorized years ago
or this morning.

Ladies and gentlemen and children, too,
in these grey days
hold on to belief in the skeletal trees.
Hold on.

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