Tag Archives: summer

incidental

a lone deer feeds
in a cornfield still fallow in late June

“maybe soya this year,”
some who know these patterns, say

i check the bleuets on the boundary to the west
these are feral patches deep in reclaimed prairie
still pink-sky blue or Caribbean green,
not yet the dusty indigo blue

i’ll check again tomorrow
like yesterday and the next day

i raise my hands up slow and high
surrendering to the deer
to show i don’t have a gun from a store
or a bow or blade i made

my tradition is not hot steel
my ceremony is not stone, bone, shaft and feathers
my nature is not always claws
these days

i hold a soft, open mouth
a weirdish smile
to show the deer
i have no usable canines

i transmit a thought
concerning the herd
“what happened to the other six you lived and walked with this winter”

no reply
to my attempt at telepathy

i push a wave of [sy][e]mpathy out from my heart
and hope the deer feels it

a moment later
the deer bolts
but not away from me, to the east
but to the west, closer

the twilight train’s here at 9:24 tonight
and the coyotes
compulsively give themselves away
their instinctual howls
predictable, thankfully
unlike people driving cars on highways or country roads
or unusually quiet and still people in the woods
both, licensed to kill
animals

this is the eve of the June Full Moon
and as far as the eye can see
fireflies are hovering above the meadow
harmlessly illuminating for their own kind
an incidental gift to bystanders

and as far as the ear can hear
frogs in a wet woodland are
harmlessly singing for their own kind
an incidental gift to passersby

if i illuminate myself from within
or sing my intuitive songs,
for myself, harmlessly,
and you, and you, and you
do too

would not that be an incidental gift
to our fellow passersby

 

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le claire [street]

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A clear glimpse
A clear thought
on this clear June night

Of age,
and Alzheimer’s
An old-timer’s disease

A clear memory recorded and archived tonight
An acute awareness of myself
tonight, in time and place
a new track to play on loop for a listener in my future life

a husband, friend, or son
a caregiver, a kind one
a visitor, volunteer, or nurse,
a grandson, or maybe, no one

A reddish dog, eating mulberries
from the sidewalk in shadows
Mottled concrete in the dim light of a city street lamp
obscured by the canopy of that beautiful, June, fruit tree

A woman, middle aged, seems so young, even a tad pretty, in her mind’s eye
Stretching her still strong body upward for plump, dark berries
Reaching for branches trimmed too high by the urban foresters
or arborists or surgeons, I forget what they’re called

On her tippy toes
grabbing, pulling, picking
squeezing the dog’s leash between her thighs
don’t get loose in the dark, don’t get skunked in the dark

Some of the best ones are lost in the awkward tussle
before she can palm them, save them, taste them
She triggers a reverberative rain from boughs on high
That precise, delicate sweetness of the bounty in her mouth

The dog’s belly full of the ripe windfall
sustained by both gravity and woman
His name was Woody, or Digby, I think
He used to climb into our sleep

Smashed and whole
The street, sidewalk and cars stained
by the impressive purple mess
the dark grass hiding perfect treasures for doves tomorrow morn

She and that dog
Always urban foragers and gleaners in June
All month long, her fingertips, heels and lips
tinted with their fuchsia dye, didn’t think to check his paws

A clear, melancholy recollection
This day, that day was also her son’s birthday
The first birthday he spent away from home, Nebraska, or Alaska, I think
That glorious tree, that good dog, that golden boy