Archive for the ‘Pastoral’ Category

The black asphalt leaks steam
as the sun rises. A short run
prolongs my morning caffeine
Long enough for me to travel a mile
of rough natural terrain.
A man, far larger than me, in a gray hoodie
is suddenly labeled a thief, or rapist, or murder…
He smiles and runs by. Perhaps he thought
I was young or pretty. Within time I will learn not to worry.

The air is a transparent mystery that fuels my breathe.
The sun rises over Mr. Patterson and his grocery store
he waves without any doubt that he is a perfect gentlemen
an old man of a different tradition.
He thinks the Sun is a miracle though in reality
it is a giant hostile ball of fire which hasn’t moved
in a million years. Yet it rises every day. Now that’s a miracle –
something appearing even though it never does.

Mr. Patterson often confuses beautiful things as miraculous.
As if nothing natural can be beautiful. He says the same about me
and has persisted in that illusion since I was a young girl.
Which despite its good intentions always made me feel
as though I was a disappointment. Needless to say this is why I run,
even though I should be home drinking coffee.

St. Mary’s church signals halfway – her shadow is a sundial –
I am running late. Though the graveyard is in shadows, as it should be,
the sidewalk is bathed in light. I turn right before Ash street
and head back. Patterson’s is open for business even though nobody
comes until after 8. My joints ache. I persistently tell myself
that the pain resides in my mind and push on.

The trees on either side of School street bend over the road
sheltering it from the sun. Light barely breaks through
allowing a runner some mercy. But I havn’t come for that
I have come to atone. So I turn up Old Hickory road
whose houses have displaced the hanging trees
and whose stone walls make the road almost cave-like
and foreign. Both roads intersect the road where I live
but Old Hickory Hill only breaks the flat earth
at this one point.

The ascent is the toughest part of the trip
and always appears as a giant gray wave
approaching from the horizon.
It is of the heritage of mythology
its titanic ancestor imprisoned Sisyphus
increasing the weight he must bear until, at its zenith,
it became impossible to move forward. Only back.
But I am not a Sisyphus, the burden is not on my back
I am a descendant of a different class
the fire wielders, born in caves, and emerged to conquer the earth.

The hill comes and goes. Its passing signifies a quiet victory.
No more a miracle than the sun. Just feet and steaming black tar.

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She rises before the sun
before I have gone to bed.

My headlights catch her looking upset
something like undead,
As if momentum at some point
will take her body further than her feet
and with the failure of every joint
would accept defeat
at the base of the man-made wall of stones
from whose cracks grows plants still living.

As the car passes I can hear her bones;
the torture that her body has been giving
causes them to cry over the engine.

She disappears like all things into the rear view mirror
A list of objects that appear closer than they really are.
Far enough away to be imagined.
But still too close to be forgotten.

Perhaps she was a dream, or a ghost, or an illusion
It has been too long without sleep to tell the difference.
I am still sixty years from home.
The car rocks in unpaved silence.
I started my trip over 20 years ago
Perhaps only to experience this moment
the sun rises over the forest.
It will go like all things and I will wonder
if it was anything more than  a ghost, or an illusion, or a dream.

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Mirror in the sky,
forever barren,
passing us by
Foot prints like
sandscrit on your side.
Your face shows the sun,
forever outshown,
light from a gun
your image on a lake
doesn’t take our attention.
Reflection on the fly
we see our face
a million miles wide
you look the same
as the flame in a woman’s eye.

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I have an old sandbox
in my yard
Sometimes I sit, and wonder
how much my hand
can hold, it’s hard to imagine.

It is the ashes of a long dead man
The once living measures of an hourglass
The world from the distance of a poet’s eye
A painting brushed on my backyard.
It is countless and endless and flowing
though it is finite and measurable.

I sit and remember how I used to play
how I used to do something
In this sandbox
other than sit and marvel at how
there is someone somewhere who knows
how much sand is in my hand
and from whence it came.

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In the sky a new moon arises
Above the darkness it despises
Shinning light on what shadows take
Leaving silent answers in its wake
And all other sorts of surprises. 

Gently tip toe down a moonlit pathway
Where darkness was now shadows lay
Rearing their ugly head from off the floor,
Staring at the moon which they adore
They hope it never goes away. 

Ephemeral ghosts, bound to the pathway
Taking the shape of those who stay,
Jealously spy what moon light makes
Images dancing on the surface of lakes
While here on pavement the shadows lay. 

Each shadow attached to the toe
Of a stranger it does not know
Sufferers of the moons hypnosis
Dying a determined symbiosis
Basking in the moon’s glow. 

Orb of heaven floats in the sky
Graces all as it passes by
But at its tale the sun arises
Bringing a new day of surprises.

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Green fields extend like curiosity
Rolling like infinity
To only be interupted by a single tree
Whose knotted limbs hold its fruit
as high as knowledge
Out of the reach of you and me.

Winter hits the ground like publicity
Falling with equality
at the base of the living tree
In the horizon the hills rise
as close to the sky as dreams
Too lofty for you or me.

When the leaves are as red as fidelity
To match the sky’s sobriety
and the fruit falls from the forbidden tree
whose knotted limbs now hold the emptiness
of a dead man’s eyes –
Its treasures given to you and me.

A summer night is blank with obscurity
Consumed by freedom and purity
Nothing but a black hole and the tree
Who shadowless stands
In the starless night
Too dark for you and me.

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A tree stands against the sun in protest.
A girl bathing in its shadow there
Allows the wind to shake her tress
The limbs, the bough, the stagnant air
And brings them to the moon
Who waits on the otherside of somewhere.

At the height of noon
When from the wooden breast the shadow shifts,
Her body is revealed sitting there,
Whose mind, amidst the leaves, drifts
To a rare and silent spot of land
On the dark side of the moon.

Facing the sun, she is skin and bone
The bark dried and frighteningly bare.
In the light she is alone
Sitting under her lover’s faithful care
But longing for his mighty hand
To, by the call of Cupid, lift
Her to the shadows on the moon.

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