Coyote Passes

Thanks for coming by, coyote,
I needed a lift.
Seeing you loping along the path
behind my house
along the ditch that drains
these greasewood hills
sparked a tiny flint of
spirit still wild.

I heard you in the night,
you and your compadres,
yipping and yowling
not far away.
I hope you ate well.
I know where a rabbit lives,
but I owe him allegiance

The Avocet



Coyote in Winter

His grizzled fur blends well
with the winter-tinged bush
in the greasewood hills,
the monsoon green now brown
and tan.
He hunts along the cracked clay
of parched arroyos
and crowded bent grasses
where quail might refuge
and sniffs for trails of rabbit
under mesquite roots.

The Avocet, Winter, 2017

ipad photos 231



The ambusher, dressed fit to kill
in his crafty camos,
poses, kneeling on one knee
behind his prey,
mere blood and fur
once muscle and cunning,
spreads his Paleolithic grin,
holds his flint-tipped spear
become high-powered rifle
with its tubular eye of death
that can see to the heart of

You’ll get no prize
for one coyote carcass.
Join the fun and sign on to
kill coyotes en masse.
We’ll take pictures and post them,
and give prizes for the most
gray and rust-colored bodies
lined up in rows,
tongues lolling,
eyes opaque.

The Avocet



39 Coyotes

In the desert west of town
beneath a contrail-streaked sky
in January,
we find what sang at night
in throaty howls and yips and cries
beneath the stars,
what stood and ran on slender legs,
yellow eyes scanning the night,
bright and quick, alert to all that moved,
and glossy noses, quivering
to catch a scent.

In the desert west of town
beneath an indifferent sky,
in January,
we find skin taut over bone,
gray and rust-colored fur,
dull and dusty, eyes opaque,
tongues lolling beneath sticks
rudely carved with a date
to mark this crude celebration of death,
to mock this death of wildness.

39 coyotes left to rot in the sun.

The Weekly Avocet, #130, June 10, 2015
An article on this animal mass murder with photo was printed in the Las Cruces Sun-News, January, 2015



Coyote Pauses

Coyote’s yellow eyes scan the night,
nose glistening, testing,
big gray ears high and alert.
Far away a rabbit squeals.
Coyote points his ears
toward the cry, runs, pauses,
waits to hear the cry again.
Then it comes, not far away
through greasewood hills.
Coyote runs toward his prey,
approaches nearer, pauses,
senses strangeness in the air,
senses danger, alien and different,
does not know the call’s a fraud,
digital distress, no rabbit here,
nor does he know that he is seen
through cross-hairs that bring him close
and mark him with a dot, red as the blood
that now marks the fatal wound
that shatters bone and sinew, pierces heart.
The body, number 50,
perhaps a record for today,
maybe wins a trophy or a rifle.
The truck is already high
with flaccid lumps of gray rust-colored furs
to count at contest, then dump
in some unmarked desert place
to rot in the sun, proof of virtue.

Killing vermin is a manly thing.

The Avocet



Coyotes in the Spring

I walk along the arroyo
near my house, the ditch that drains
the Doña Ana Mountains,
its banks spring-green with mesquite and willow.
The cool spring air smells of damp earth
and new growth.
The banks are wide
and drop steeply to the
sandy bed. Looking into the gorge
I see that a torrent not long ago
exposed the red clay beneath,
layers laid deep I think, by
monsoon floods in
ancient times.
I decide to return home,
grab a bag and collect some of
this red clay.
Looking up, I see a coyote
not far away on the opposite bank,
watching this intruder into his world.
Coyote seems to have a destination
and I’m in his way.
I turn around intent on my purpose,
and when I do he follows,
alert on slender legs.
And when I turn up the slope that leads
toward my house, I see her purpose, not his,
for coming out of the brush
are three half-grown pups.
She goes to them and their greeting ritual,
whimpering, nuzzling,
securing their bond.

I have seen a secret.
I expect they will soon be gone.
I will hear their yips and yelps in the night,
the coyote songs that sound so lonely.
But the loneliness is mine,
the outsider, the other.

The Avocet, Spring, 2018

Links to other sections

In the High Desert
Sun and Moon
En la Selva
Brother Francis
Cocina Mexicana