Poem for Orange

Incandescent orange are

the cliffs at dawn. Apricot

orange are the cloud wisps.

Burnt orange earth beneath

the grasses and the juniper.


The globemallow’s round face

declares the friendliness of

orange, the claret-cup

cactus its gaudiness, the

ponderosa pine its lineage.


Thirsty orange are the cliffs

in the afternoon. Black, the clefts

in the orange cliffs and the gash

of the arroyo which, when you

enter it, is fiery orange.


Velvet orange, the grains

of the dune, so fine no plant

can take root. Orange my skin

when I roll in it. Tepid orange

the water in my bottle.


When light spears the mesa

and the thunderheads flare,

unbearably orange are

the trees, creek, cliffs.

Orange is the very air.


The great horned owl’s eyes

bespeak orange terror.

Field mice quiver beneath

their orange shields. Orange

at midnight is the moon.