“call me if you need anything,” you say ~ then the sweet swift chatter of the keyboard birthing words into evergreen poet-trees, my thoughts and your face, sometimes the word is love, other times the word is love, ubiquitous, omnipotent, found in the heart, in the dictionary, in the mind of the child, in the child’s mind that lives in the adult, love everywhere, i see it written on your lips as we talk of everyday things, i hear the word with my heart when you say “good bye , Mom~ next week, we’ll go out for lunch…and a drive ~ along the scenic route,” … that says love too
Still for a moment the church bells
pealing the ancient canonical hours.
Still the lyric call of the muezzin.
Silence the Shacharit, the Mincha, the Arvit.
Stay the wheels and the flying flags.
Let nature’s prayer alone reverberate
in the unfettered canticle of trees.
“A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.” John Muir (1838-1914), Scottish-American naturalist, environmental activist, and author
Looking back through some old poems, I found this announcement about a poem on a more serious note and unfortunately appropriate given the current warring.
SALAMANDER COVE: My poem Imagine is in the March 2011 collection of this online poetry publication where Other Mother’s Children was also published last year . Both of these poems also found homes elsewhere including Poets Against War. I’m pleased because the subject is important to my heart. Check out the magazine HERE for Imagine andsome other fine poems by poets who may be new to you. The subject for the issue is grieving.
there are transitional moments, spaces filled with
wildfire and earthquake and avalanche, yet wilderness
speaks more of the sun pouring his heart out in dapples
and of the paced stew of the ever-changing seasons,
the promise of rough footpaths alongside the lives of trees
and lonely lakes that mirror endless sky-play and always
those smart birds hitching free rides on thermal columns
how cherish-able is the insouciance of the wild, how prized
for its medicinal value, for its stringy-barked eucalyptus
and curly moss, the breathe of its purity in the tossing up
and carving out of shapely mountains and palisades and
high-principled stone obelisks rising from frothing seas
and from the evergreen stillness of the land, the wilderness ~
so reverent in its prayers, its songs of praise, they soar
tower-like, a marvel of primordial cathedrals spinning
past the cruciferous hallmark of hawk against the wide
and cloud-bedecked sky; ageless, these untamed places are
rock-solid sanity and tree anchored, feeding those who sit
one with them, who own the wilderness essence from the heart’s
unbroken core, finding their own soul as incorruptible as stone
There is a wolf in me … fangs pointed for tearing gashes … a red tongue for raw meat … and the hot lapping of blood—I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.
There is a fox in me … a silver-gray fox … I sniff and guess … I pick things out of the wind and air … I nose in the dark night and take sleepers and eat them and hide the feathers … I circle and loop and double-cross.
There is a hog in me … a snout and a belly … a machinery for eating and grunting … a machinery for sleeping satisfied in the sun—I got this too from the wilderness and the wilderness will not let it go.
There is a fish in me … I know I came from salt-blue water-gates … I scurried with shoals of herring … I blew waterspouts with porpoises … before land was … before the water went down … before Noah … before the first chapter of Genesis.
There is a baboon in me … clambering-clawed … dog-faced … yawping a galoot’s hunger … hairy under the armpits … here are the hawk-eyed hankering men … here are the blond and blue-eyed women … here they hide curled asleep waiting … ready to snarl and kill … ready to sing and give milk … waiting—I keep the baboon because the wilderness says so.
There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird … and the eagle flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and fights among the Sierra crags of what I want … and the mockingbird warbles in the early forenoon before the dew is gone, warbles in the underbrush of my Chattanoogas of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes—And I got the eagle and the mockingbird from the wilderness.
O, I got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head, under my red-valve heart—and I got something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart: it is a father and mother and lover: it came from God-Knows-Where: it is going to God-Knows-Where—For I am the keeper of the zoo: I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work: I am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness.