Poetry

Poetry

God enters through the eye

Like a fish that sees the wobbling silver roof
That caps his world, dim, lit by flashes,
I look at Mono Lake, its sky and clouds
Silent in a mountain bowl, centered
In the rocky gateway of Tioga Pass.

God enters through the eye, a small, bright hook,
A thin floating line.     We blink.     He yanks.

Pool

My gift for his fiftieth birthday,
a Japanese maple, buds swollen
and ready to release first leaves.

After planting he digs a small
pool underneath, lines it
with cement edged with rocks.

This mirror, shaped like a uterus,
reflects the tree as it rises,
the soft green lace spreading

its wings. “Womb,” we whispered,
little girls in church singing
the word, that secret place which

under the bare branches of December,
holds the sun, moon, and stars.

Blood Moon

Beneath this April’s full moon,
an inch of snow fell, eclipsing

daffodils and tulips, their budding
genius. Cherry blossoms wear

white gowns now, shivering
as they somehow—is it possible?—

become more beautiful, as if the cold’s shock
rocks their simple, pink world,

spurring metamorphosis beyond
the binaries of winter-spring,

bleakness-promise, cocoon-
wing. They move into a third space

hospitable for another life
more rare, more raw.

Ewe to shepherd

And won’t you slow your pace, and let us look
at least upon your shadow as you move?
Your darkened form walks all too swiftly through
these thickets, and some rams among our flock
command me stay behind. They say my words
disrupt their meditations, and my feet
usurp the path that theirs would take. You need
me, so they say, to be unseen, unheard,
and let my sheepish silence be the sign
of my devotion. Bleating arguments,
we wait for you to turn; but until then
we trot as troubled stragglers in your line,

not knowing how to reconcile our aims,
or even if our shepherd is the same.

Fair exchange mid April—Maine

Gun metal gray the sky this morning
and along the shore at dead low tide an on-shore wind
blows spume across the wave tops.
Rain before dark, they say, and even some late snow
to dash our dawning dreams of green and blossoming.
Undaunted, a new pair of mallards—
splendid headed male and female—inaugurate
the new-thawed pool beside the dog run
of our ocean-front retirement home.
Silent, they move across, now venturing
among the reeds to break their long migrating fast,
and seek a secure nesting place to lay the future.
Blessing their ancient quest, I call to mind one week ago,
on this same daybreak dog walk, I was surprised,
almost alarmed, by one great, stately snow white egret,
with his mate, also foraging among the weeds,
as the larger of them rose, spread his quite angelic wings,
and wafted a bright unexpected blessing to my aging head,
as he moved on in search of richer waters.