Sunday, November 13, 2016

September into October

Among redwoods…

Sound waves the air, 

not so much as to wrinkle a leaf, 
but enough to bring secrets 

birds sing.


Morning’s shadow assignments 
change minute to minute, till noon, 
when the sun’s shift changes.


Leaning into the west, Orion looks down
across a raised shoulder

at the moon
lying there in the east

on its back
under a rounded 

shadow-belly—you can tell 
they’d like to speak,

but neither do.


A lazy morning with extra coffee, fun talk
and the inevitable irritations of digital life.

We keep record of most everything 
these days, mostly to ensure no fault

of our own—give me the pen, a pencil even, 
to find a poem, home to the irresolvable, 

place where healing hears tell of itself.


I was going to tell you 
about that small house on the corner 
just past the school, across from the park 
where the slope begins to sweep upward
into the hills, that has two large magnolia trees 
each side the front walk, converging limbs  

that looking from the street, frame 
a red brick stoop and a white door that 
made me think of New England, and later, 

now alone among redwoods, the song 
of children’s voices reminds me of autumn
and how it was back then.


Ancient redwoods, ancient friends,
hold scar-burns to black

for hundreds of years—memories,
different from a grudge.


Distant horizons, open grasslands, 
remind me how redwoods 
hold sky so high, 

even shadows tire 
while waiting for light 
to arrive


Tell me something sweet, 
pine tree, tell me: butterscotch.


When it stopped making sense, 
I drifted here and there, 

then left, with memories, 
but without a role, 

doors opening to streets 
leading nowhere 

in particular, just making it up 
while going-along-watching 

whatever’s next, 
watching, not as rule,

but as way without script,
watching for every thing’s potential,

for our next moves…


Sometimes circles close, sometimes 
incense curls the chanting voice 

that calls the wish that carries the pulse 
that sometimes only speaks silence.


The same coloring sky
that left night behind, 

returns day to us—sun,
somewhere unseen,

is called dark.


I walked the mountain this morning,
ankles deep in summer-burnt grass, 
a young jay sweeping flashes 
of brilliant sun-lit blue

that oddly enough pulled my attention 
to the pink pin-cushion and the gold petals 
at the trail’s edge, and to the last 
of the mustard blossoms.

Likely, he was he just showing off, just doing 
what jays do: the best they can to disguise, 
or is it to celebrate, their best gestures 
of their unquenchable inclination 
to unhindered praise and joy 


Delighted bees 
surf summer’s final throws
in piles of tufts and petals
laden with the pollen 
of lavender.


What came first continues to come first
in different words of differing tales

of different turns of waking up—every day 
a new day of learning to live 

the language where 

poems live.

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