by t. zoEy benally

this afternoon i crossed curly haired river
river bottom normally smooth--
heavy ribbons unfurled, ropes dangle
past a young waist
girl stands beside a magenta automobile
--is today curled

twirled & spiraled like secret sam's
beard that hides his slow smile
that sips hot coffee on even hotter days
from pliant styrofoam cups

spins on grapevines
chartreuse, fushia & teal turns
for the special occasion of today
money spent, mandarin oranges served
for the party of now...


go ahead
by t. zoEy benally

look up at 5AM
and you will see
that the sky is vast
enough room
for all the love
that you feel.


baby's day
by t. zoEy benally

it was time for a visit
they wanted her to visit
so i took the day,
spent the day with baby

we walked along the river banks
under cottonwood, beside chil chin berries
she was quickly lulled to sleep
by water rush & sun dapples

butterflies & moths welcomed us
they soon spread the word
hop flights took the message
forward to those wondering
about this special child

sunlight glinted off crinkled saran wrap
covered dark brown gravy river
thanksgiving leftovers wildly flow

fish slipped silently beneath
thick water, watched baby pass
slick beaver matched our pace
paddled close to hear her even breath

duck & geese ventured close
swam against currents
some dared to fly onto the path
to watch, first with right eye,
then with left, baby nap late in the day

spiders hung from webs threaded through brush
eye & leg octets noted baby's growth & progress
dragonflies, bumblebees & wasps
buzz, hover & we pass

speedy hummingbirds zoom
hearts & wings race, love quickly
red robins flit slower, tree to tree
scoop up crumbs from baby's sweet dreams

fat squirrels sling their tails
fuzzy boa arced over their backs
shiny prairie dogs wait, wait until
we are upon them, then squeek down burrows

two tall lithe deer look up from meadow graze
green fiber between their teeth
they chew thoughtfully & watch
sleeping baby pass

trees applaud at the conclusion of
baby's visit, they've all brought
peaceful thoughts to nourish baby's
bouquet dream & to send blessings
may she visit again soon.


i am not beautiful
by t. zoEy benally

i am not beautiful
by white picket fence standards
i do not fit within edges
of die cut Grable doll
paper wardrobes

i am not golden sunshine & blue skies
no, not milk swirled
with pink strawberries
nor am i wasp, ant or spider

i am curled clay risen
through mud and dried,
crisped in hundred degree plus

i am chei horned toad
i will bring you luck
when you are brave enough
to rub bellies with me

i am pushy winds
to keep you going
when Barbie's clothes gouge
your waist and excess fabric bags
in the front & butt


it's the beat--the beat--the beat
by t. zoEy benally

"bass in yo face!"
she screams as she nuzzles up
crawls inside black fuzzy beat wellspring
fine vinyl tracks amplified, tossed into the air--FLY!
thump through her and onto the next

wonky trance was in his pants
he jumps, kicks & sweats beats
leaps over intelligent light traces
shakes trance dance out into warehouse night

soulful house was their groove
outside desert, inside close club booths
their arms wave, enery courses to the last leaf
high tree boughs moved by long loving
breezy sighs of hot house music


your ship leaves today
by t. zoEy benally

take a baby to brazil
lush leaves drown in flattened crayon
tip rounded by repeated scrubs
across bleached tree fiber
grease pencil outlines contain festivals
parrot blues, brown soil reds
dirt drenched with decayed vegetable matter

wait, let me write this down
scribble it on my hand
before i turn around
else, when i turn--red sandstone
canyon cheekbones & chin
doused in indespensable radiation
that powers The Solar System
--i will have forgotten

Gaia dances, twirls
ocean skirts and terra buttons
hey man, your ship leaves today


sonar mammal haiku
by t. zoEy benally

pollen claws stucco
bat-a-licious snap sheet wings
black leather wizard