Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 27: This is a Rare Thing

I can't believe so many days have already passed in my poem-a-day project.  What a pleasure it has been to dive into the history of Sonoma County.  Today's poem takes a short break from diving too historically deep.  I had a big day (interview) and wrote this as my students were taking their in-class exam.  It all centered around images I had seen on my incredibly beautiful commute to work: the grass dancing on the hillside, a lone swan splitting a field pond where normally I only see ducks.  Then, a host of brightly colored hot-air-balloons seemed suspended over the college before I walked in.  Here is my draft for today:

Stepping Over into the Rare of Now

How landscape beckons me into it:

first light and already the grasses dance
under wind’s breath, a lone swan in a field pond
opens a line in the dull-eyed water
with its feathered buoyancy. But the dream
of the snake was rare. (Had I seen it or
read it first?) Before the long body stretched
across my known path in the golden field?
It was a gopher snake, not poisonous,
just fat on too many gophers, soaking
sun into its cooled brown skin as it lay
still. But fear shimmered high in the bay leaves
breathed heavy on the gold stubble of grass
until his body became vinculum:
To step over was to hush the leaves and
wind. To step over was to risk passage
into another life.

                              This morning when
bright pink and green hot air balloons hung in
the sky above now like hope, I knew to
close my eyes and step over the dreamed snake
into the rare chance of what lay beyond.

No comments: