Lois P. Jones
A distance, a motion, a maple,
the evening shelter of green.
We move closer, not as hunters,
but the bas relief of twilight clouds.
A journey, a blossom, a crocus,
we pick mushrooms for our meal.
I tell you of the sparrow I nursed
and your touch becomes leaf.
Today you show me three young swans—
speak of winter and changelings.
Tonight I will discover fauna and flora,
the soft curve of your wings.
In El Sausal you can devour fresh beefsteak
smoked on the grill. Watch the short chubby
ladies pat their tortillas. There's always a stand
open somewhere. Esteban tells me to eat
as many as I want. "Add the salsa verde, baby."
So I suck it up, devour handfuls,
gulp seacoast, wind and sunlight -- sticky
green makes its path down my fingers.
In the afternoon Doña Lupe's hammock lulls us.
Wine becomes his breath, sun leans on saltbrush.
I place a small caché of seeds in my purse.
"You must keep them for luck," his sister says.
On the way back we drive along the Pacific.
I play Miles, he plays Chick
and the wind sweeps, the air cleans--
we let it do those things that nature does.
Today, my hand searches for coins
in an empty purse. I catch tiny seeds.
When spring returns, I will scatter
myself and hope for the wind.
I listen for estuaries, in the green-white
of the rose in my vase, not yet fully open.
I read Rilke, study oblique lines
of Picasso’s Guernica, regard light
patterns of dark leaf against curtain,
but nothing is speaking today.
All I have is this moment.
It is filled with the dull hum
of Punjabi, my neighbor speaks
to someone at a distance.
Monsoons rage and retreat—
my mind will not drink this.
Nearby, the delicate trickle of bell,
the glitter of wind chime takes a breath
of wind, translates its song into sunlight,
sparrow--fragments of memory, a cypress
bends low over a darkened stream.
Something deeper flows in its crests
and shallows. It is a voice with no sound
nor movement, just me spawning the world.
Previously published in The California Quarterly
© Lois P. Jones
Loch Raven Review Winter 2005 Vol. I, No. 2
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