Everyone hears voices—everyone
who listens into the land. It’s not madness
to hear boasting in the wild grass
that schemes to take over,
spreading as far as you can see.

Out here, wind in the sparse trees,
survivors, talks nonstop
about the opulent north.
And what can the trees answer,
who’ve never gone anywhere,
whose articulate roots are almost
too deep to hear?

Rocks keep their distance from us,
from each other, standoffish
and tightlipped ascetics.
But they speak now and then
in a dialect like clicking tongues,
surprisingly fond of gossip.

Don Thompson

About the poet: Don Thompson has been writing about the San Joaquin Valley for over fifty years, including a dozen or so books and chapbooks. For more info and links to publishers, visit his website at don-e-thompson.com.