Remember that warm anticipation
before the red dust obscured our ease
and the houses blew the sky down?
On this night the walls are so cold and
distant peaks enshrouded, I know what I’ll do:
I’ll sit here nearby. Sip a cup with you
as a star comes out. Let it all settle
until the world is clear again.
Note: the family is sitting around trying to write verse inspired by music for a contest (“The Writer’s Ear”) sponsored by the local schools. Here is what my six year old son August came up with. It should be further noted that this verse is illuminated in magic marker and that the poem’s narrator is a fire-breathing monster of some kind. But regardless of that, I think the last couplet is a keeper for all of us.
I sit at the bottom of a shallow sea.
Above the surface, the old mountains are all wavy,
leaning down. They are stooped and as patient
as the deserts of wizened lizards they will become.
The new one, the one I will drive over to work
the one on which I will see the maple’s early change
the one on which I will see the brown bear’s lazy gaze
the one on which I will stand with my aging father
has still not taken its first tectonic steps.
It’s not even the apple in extruding lava’s eye,
yet by the time I am old enough
to put on these eyeglasses
it will already be ten-times diminished
from its highest peak. I miss this part as
A big thing blocks out the yellow white sun above me
and swallows an ancestor or two.
When it is gone only the Star River shows the flow.