The Many Solitudes of Sun –

Life on the ragged edge of a Mediterranean climate:

Born raw

Again this morning

Sudden, under the monotony

Of unchanged days.

What’s left to tip this scratched record?

Slipping beats, mercilessly turning

To an old song

Still sharp and biting

But in new ways not heard then.

How far south

Or north

Or just across

Do I need to go

For the broad skies

Painted in pastel masteries.

Haunted eden,

Before the waiting time resumes.

June 26

June 26.

Is the real day here,

Latest sunset of the year

When it all comes gathering up

To glide into the doldrums

Today is the crest of a small wave

On some pond

Rarely visited in the brush

Especially on hot days

When it becomes the throne

For snakes and frogs

Having their day

On the crest of a small wave

This is the silent pulse

The long ebb

The onset of exhale

The practice of patience

If I could count flowers and leaves

I might try drawing the ripples

Depending on the amount of time

Getting lost in time’s subtle traps

Pulling us into drying gopher holes

Where new life goes on.

I have to step gently from today,

Steadfast in foot,

Hopping the waves

Or pointing to the shadows

The marks they leave

The same as the last go

Except changed

When I start counting.

The Topography of Rain (a rewrite)

These are songs we rehearse

Only to ourselves.
Feigning patience,
In the thick stagnation
When the wind fell away,
And the sun is all that is left.
.
This time of smoke
And old valleys
Sitting low, in their once verdant chairs,
Bosomy ranges now creaking, tight,
Under their own thirsty landscapes.
.
In this time of waiting,

Rhythms are scribbled across a dry creek bed:
Brittle choirs of sand and pebble,

Playing to a listless audience,

Muted in dust.

How the Rain Might Visit

These are songs we dare speak

Only to ourselves

While we wait

Patiently

Through the thick stagnation

We encounter somewhere

Between summer and fall

When the wind falls away,

And the sun is all that is left.

.

This time of smoke

And old valleys

Sitting low, in their once easy chairs

Of coastal ranges gone tight

And creaking

Under their own thirsting landscapes.

.

You can just about hear the memories:

Water-worn tales amidst the dust and rounded gravels,

Once verdant glee,

All gone brittle,

In this time of waiting.

Part II. Listening to Steelhead.

I cannot counter the edge,

Remarkable, memorable, inexorable

In an odd persistence that wanes in it’s coming.

I cannot shape this space.

Green years, short months and how the day suddenly curves away.

The center is far removed from place and time. Eyes turning to the bright prospects of hard lines on skies.

I cannot yield to grace, as the soft illusions of ease tempt me into the chilled waters.

 

 

The forgotten American dream: patience

Mid-way through the afternoon the wind doesn’t show and the sun hangs across the streets in a timeless bit of perpetual Sunday laziness. I wonder down to the little taco stand where I know there’ll be few people and no waiting or impatient customers hurried on by something. These are the afternoons where the morning gets forgotten along the way. How things ended up here is unknown. For a couple of hours, there is nothing going on. Everything just slows to a crawl along the street. The cars are missing for a while, the kids have all gone inside for a break. Everything just seems to pause for a while. In this little slice of time the sun lights up the flat water on the bay, spraying slow sparkles of light through the afternoon. If I could stay right here, sipping my drink, patiently waiting for my tacos – the kind of patient wait that bathes me in calming comfort – I might never need anything else.