Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Beyond the Mesquite Trees

Venus chases the moon into the mesquite trees
where a cushion of haze rises to dim their light,
break their fall so as not to disturb the golfers
coming up the back nine during twilight play.

A Carolina anole turns green, inflates his dewlap
as his clock ticks toward mating; he searches
along railings and in bushes, peering through
the dusky light for the female he knows is there.

Out over the Pacific Ocean, it’s still daylight,
could be tomorrow or yesterday or maybe even
next week, but in the brilliant sky, Venus and Moon
sail unseen, a slow pursuit like lizards stalking mates,

questions circling all night only to come up again
in the morning, looking different, but only slightly.

This started as a micro-poem posted at a gnarled oak and, where Deb hinted it could be a first line.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this, I like the sense of journey in the whole poem

  2. Great images, superb first line and a wonderful flow. Could I humbly suggest a second look at ‘Carolina anole’ as when this is read out loud it causes a slight stop.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Gordon. It’s always appreciated. I actually went back and forth between Carolina and green anole (another name for that lizard) but didn’t like the 2 greens in the same line. That’s for pointing to a potential stumbling point.

  3. Oh, oh, oh! I missed this earlier. I am so pleased you took the hint!

    It’s a beautiful poem, speaks to me of how being in the moment can hold the universe. Love the birds, of course, the golfers, the lizards, the sky. Lovely!

    • Glad you liked it, Deb. After your comment on my dent I couldn’t stop wondering “what if I kept going?” I guess my dents and micros could sometimes work as prompts when I need something to get going.

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