Monday, July 02, 2012

July 2 -That's when I gave him/her my________

When I woke this morning the edge of the horizon was smudged with fog.  This is typical July weather in western sonoma county.  Fog in the mornings that will either burn off by late morning or linger.  Yesterday my son Max and I went to the creek in our backyard.  It's a place I've played since I was child.  A part of this property that is hard to forget.  While we were there yesterday, while Max sat in the limestone belly of the creek trying to dig out old leaves and sticks to make the water flow a flock of blue jays took to the trees around us, frantic with warning.  It was so strange and went on for fifteen minutes or so.  The birds jumped from tree to tree above us, calling to one another.  For today's poem, I went back to the pioneer couple I envisioned in yesterday's poem.  I imagine the wife coming to this same creek with her teenage boy about this time of year, a month before apple harvest.  I imagine times of leisure like this, especially for a single mom and her son were few and far between.  But, I imagine when they happened they healed.  They etched into their whole weary bodies a kind of solace that is hard for us to understand.  Here is my attempt at a poem today.  I'm so excited that a few of you are writing poems as well!  Keep them coming.  It's such a pleasure to virtually write with you!

Under Warning of Birds

The fog lingers in the corners of things: crotch of hill, the edge of blue sky left smudged.

Yesterday, under the oaks and pines blue jays erupted into a dapple of sound and warning.
When I looked up to the spinning trees, every one rustled with their weight and sound.
We had gone to the creek to find solace from the heat, from the work of the day, but we found only warning.
I could feel time coil itself like a snake. That’s when I gave him my memory like a doppelganger.

The place is like that, I say. It's a place to linger and forget. He giggles. Already able-bodied as his burried Pa.

A simple S-shaped bend in the creek. Limestone-bedded. The gentle trickle of a summer waterfall.

If we listen to the birds, if we watch the sky, if we follow the press of guilt and duty, we’ll never see what is hidden in the dark water.

It only takes a few found sticks. A willingness to find the hidden life of salamanders and crawfish to clear the creek of what keeps the water from flowing.

Dead leaves, silt, a tree branch, stones.

In a few weeks, the harvest will begin. Already the tart green orbs burn from the fingers of trees.

When we plowed the field, dust veiled our life. Even this morning I was still sweeping dust from the wooden floor in front of the stove.

Even under warning of birds, joy enters our bodies at the corners, smudged and unbidden.

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