First of May in World’s Autumn

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First of May in World’s Autumn

Bright sunlight falls through clear air with fresh coolness in the shadows touching skin with warmth as imperceptible eddies sway green leaves gently beneath a blue sky under which an unmeshing fragmenting spray of white wispiness skims over the hillcrests framing my canyon ringing with the songs of thrushes, the darting sparkling forays of twizzling hummingbirds, and the chirping calls of White-Throated swifts swooping all about to and fro from their attic-hidden nests through corridors of tree fronds with scattered emerging hints of drought yellowing, while Brown Creepers flutter by in their nervously butterfly-like dropping flight hops; and all is under the confident and commanding eyes of Red-Tailed Hawks, a pair, wheeling majestically so close overhead, their shadows whisking across the panorama arrayed to view, their tails glowing gold with translucent sun, their arcing wingtip feathers scribing crisp the moment flashed to eye onto the crystal of memory.

O Nietzsche! Reading your words is like gargling with gravel to sift out gold! I am sinking in my deepening dotage awash in memories of youthful debaucheries! Is this deserved punishment for my unintended cruelties and ignorant harshness, or rewarded grace for my clumsy kindnesses and stumbling harmlessness?

I marinate in memories of your presence, my fulsome love, flesh-instilled beyond the force of thought, punished by the absence of presence irredeemable by time, rewarded by the presence of absence of fading spirit, the scent and hunger and skin-feel of that lost eternity of your warm smiling gaze enfolding all. My candle flames melting the cold hardened wax of the past lofting its vaporous luminosity into the pitch blackness of all futures’s oblivion, a flare along the passage from the unknown to the forgotten. Stars are the luminous hot bubbles of light in the roiling cold boil of existence into nonexistence, time into timelessness, space into self-absorption, substance into void.

Smoke from extinct rainbows burnt in offerings by dead souls to imaginary gods lifts memories of lost oceans into night’s blackness to fall slowly rolling down from canyon rim hillcrests the cool mist diffusing space disappearing before penetrating earth’s thirsting embrace, submerging this island of forest in an ocean of quiet whose silence can be heard far past distant unseen horizons beyond which the sun is being reborn in the womb of eternity, as hummingbirds sit hunched on their perches snoring. The singing light of day again will wake me soon, for all I know.

1 May 2021

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Burnt Cold Distance

Burnt Cold Distance

Smelling burnt haze
Morning sunlight
Warming back
Hot coffee aroma
Steaming face
Jays squawk
Chickadees cheep
Hummingbirds twizzle
Pale light caresses
Smooth barkskin, leaves
Green fading to dull rusts
Silence, mostly
Police siren far far away
Downwind stillness
After deep night cold fog
All our sins infected air
Drying, burning, flooded away
Nature claws back
At our flawed caresses
Sleepwalkers everyone
Sad unseeing
Paradise shrivel
Staccato minds
Illusions coiled
Atomize
As we all sink
Beneath fantasy clouds
Fragments floating on the sea
Of a void, avoid
What could be
Voices calling out deafly
Ears awash in echoes
Falsely, drones
Of inner emptiness
Engulfed by ignorance
Despite the richness
Embracing us
Cocooned in shells
Of helpless absorption.
The world collapses
from our loss of soul.

The Coldness of Distant Burning

The morning’s hazy sunlight smells of burning
From far off distance past last night’s cold deep fog

Coffee aroma steams waking in my face
The spreading sunlight soaks warmth into my back

Jays squawk, Chickadees cheep, Hummingbirds twizzle
Pale light caresses smooth eucalyptus bark
And drying leaves that fade dull from greens to rusts

The silent air hints of sirens far away
This downwind stillness infected by our sins

Of dying life, burning lands, flooding away
As Nature claws repelling our failed caress

Sleepwalkers everyone sadly unseeing
Paradise shrivel with their staccato minds

Illusions coiled so tightly we atomize
To sink like stones under fantasy’s clouds

Our shattered world floats as fragements on the sea
The once so certain is now a void of dreams

Unrealized castaways are droning still
Engulfed by echoes from shallowness within

Despite nature’s richness embracing us all
Cocooned in our shells of helpless absorption

So the world collapses from our loss of soul

1 September 2020

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Sunshine Girl, and Good People

Nit’s Cafe is a small, wonderful Thai-themed restaurant in Fort Bragg.

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Sunshine Girl

I saw the granddaughter of Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin today —
Beautiful girl —
Lives in Berkeley sometimes
Sometimes in Fort Bragg or Albion
Not sure what she does for a living
Maybe work part-time in Nit’s Cafe
But she’s a good singer
Makes up her own lyrics
Loves animals —
Feeds the hummingbirds
Has a pet skunk —
Not bad at gardening —
Trades with her tomatoes at the Farmers’ Market —
Even knows Spanish!
Said Zapata was an ancestor, it’s likely true
Said Santa Monica is like golf:
A Republican pig playpen
Lights incense to read
Rings a Tibetan bowl-bell when the Moon is full
Does her own math even, I’m impressed
Keeps bees I heard, earns her honey
Hikes the hills to see the hawks
Watches waves from the cliff
A tough cookie with a sweet disposition
Free spirit
Always fun when she’s around
Glad I lived long enough to know her

4 June 2020

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Good People

I do not think it is fair to ridicule people of modest education and sophistication, who are otherwise good-hearted, right-thinking and right-acting. Wisdom is not the same as intelligence, which is not the same as education. Education is the product of opportunity, and thus usually an accident of birth; intelligence is a product of genetics, and thus a blameless accidental attainment; and wisdom is a product of rationality coupled with good character. It is rationality and good character that are essential to the making of a complete person, and to the making of a good society.

4 June 2020

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Job Application

Job Application

I would be good
at watching the quality of morning sun in fall
shift from crystalline horizontal incisiveness
to a near invisibility of diffused blue,
the texture of reality softening
from a pointillist granularity of color and shadow –
razor sharp in its purity –
to a shaded weave of fluid color, lit from within,
alive with the fullness of the universe,
autumn leaves tumbling like petals of amber
dancing across the luminescent blue,
carried by the eddying sighs of a living earth.

I would be good
at watching wispy white feathers of icy cloud
curl in slow vortical whorls,
sailing with majestic grace across the cupola of atmosphere;
and I would be good at telling you
how the rays of evening sun
glance off the salty foam of wavecrests in the Pacific
to warm the pink bellies of creamy pendulous clouds,
an amorous sky rolling its effulgent Rubenesque abundance
over the sprawling darkening body of the earth.

I would be good
at telling you how the droplets of mist
hang in the air between pine boughs and leaves of eucalyptus
in the quiet of the morning
before the rising sun crests the canyon rim
flooding the humid silence with light,
and how the silent swoop of a hawk low in the forest canopy
cores vortices of clarity as its wake,
a clarity that diffuses into misty white opaqueness,
an opacity that evaporates in the light;
and I could tell you about evening’s blanketing fog
pulled westward over the rim of the canyon
dissolving the panorama of clarity
into a hushed proximate blankness of unlit white
punctuated by the resonant whoo-whoo of a pair of owls
flapping noiseless wings to reach invisible perches
in the heavy coolness of descending night.

I would be good
at telling you how the hummingbirds pair,
drilling the noonday light
with a swirling darting weave of whistling clicks,
sprinkling glints of blazing color
as if sparking the very air with a furious friction;
and I could tell you of opalescent clouds,
rim-lit on passing across the sun,
trailing sweeping purple arcs of evaporating rain
that disappear into the clear blue,
only a shadow reaching the ground.

I would be good at all that.
Surely, many would want to hear
how the day’s light progressed,
being shut away in their self-contained preoccupations –
unconnected.
I could remind them,
my words would reach out
like a mother’s arms to a frightened baby,
encompassing it in warming comfort –
connection to the mother.
Surely, in today’s world
there must be a job like this,
the need is so great.
Think of me as the weatherman of the soul.

16 November 2001