Anniversaries

And Summer’s Dwelling.

Now:

The soft urgency of evening comes as a call of light.

Light in windows,

And the closing edge of shadows,

Where far off night calls for tomorrow’s respite.

The last places fold themselves into corners,

Where sounds hide,

Descending,

Slipping into a quickening stop now,

While yielding to the hills beyond

Staring down at our polka dot splendor,

While they wait their turn.

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Now, the calendar gets marked,

Not in numbers and squares,

But in these lines,

Those corners,

And the rough shapes of passed time.

.

Now I remember this path,

Where it led,

How it was worn somewhat,

But tread in new shoes,

At a steady pace,

To the whims of clarity,

And the luxuries delivered

From the old shadows

Lurking all the while

Among the familiar.

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.

The light still slides

But plays to a bad rhythm

A bad rhythm going down.

.

Again,

Some of this time might linger.

Mix.

Into the endless eddies of days

But is quickly lost

On the downhill slide.

.

One day, crazy boisterous

The next,

Of long slumber,

Or the deep haze

Cast across dry fields

And the aches fired by dust and wind.

.

Here the days slide with the light,

The rhythm of new times again.

Experiencing Climate (in progress)

Afternoon breeze:

Throes of some beloved time

Mark this place,

Scribbling old, stale letters,

With the earth casting the scantest of shimmers.

.

Recalling its vast flatness,

Where things far gone

Seem close,

Is a breeze that weans all

From time’s pulsing song

And the golden bars of space.

.

Lazy:

Like days on end become.

.

Secretive:

Passing through leaves

And other spaces.

With barely a gesture:

Surprising in its arrival,

Fading in its passing.

Like lifting a finger

To a circling moth

And seeing another

Move along a ragged edge of focus:

Near soundless wings a flutter.

.

The breeze sits and waits

‘Til all else passes,

When it will stand and tell stories

In a hushed voice

That carries far,

Like grief and love

All mingled in the fields:

Meeting for the first time.

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.

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.

Summer River

I’m thinking of compiling a bunch of stanzas over the course of the summer, each being a separate evening on the river, and see where it goes. Of course, that begs the question when does summer begin and end!  So here’s an introduction, maybe, followed by a recent evening. We’ll see how this pans out – guess I better spend some time on the water in the evening!

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The smell of river hangs in the trees.

Dangling on the buzzing songs,

Of birds and bugs.

Heaps of them

Appeared just yesterday!

.

The days don’t seem long,

But they stretch beyond August now,

What they will soon call the dog days.

.

Now, we have frog days,

That linger into this night,

An evening of cricket thickets,

Water noises and screeching night birds.

.

A pulsing choir to send us on our way.

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Last night, a sudden and certain pause:
Sprays of lightning danced overhead,
crackling off in every direction.
And the last bit of setting sun,
Spilled golden light underneath everything,
Casting a rainbow over the far bank.
 
May31.
And now the rain, showery waves
Wavering by day, singing lullabies by night
This is the rain you were warned about
Where picnics run and hide
And chefs delight in warm dishes from the hearth.
Sustaining, despite our cries for ice cream
and secret swimming holes at the ends of dirt roads.
 
July 11.
Afternoon hangs on here,
Like a cruel gift of time
For people who never give up.
 
 August 4.
Just for a moment,
Afternoon sneaks in a rattling breeze
Shaking little poems from the leaves
Giggling like children passing secrets
In a playground, just before the bell rings.
 
October 26.
Maybe summer exhales in the evening now,
More likely an afternoon,
When sun and light and water play
For just a while, before it all quiets down
But maybe, just maybe,
Summer might tell one last quiet bedtime story.