With the passion of tides
A palette of life
A canvas of sand
The sand has the name of the journey
For it has known the seas, can speak
Their names and tell the storms
The secret places where the wind hides
Its stormy jewels and sings its terrible
Songs. Oh the night. Oh the night.
And we hold the sand within our hands
And we let it go between our fingers
Making patterns with its soft body,
Its gleaming eyes, the mantle of
The waves. Oh hear, we die in seas
So cold the ice itself grows teeth
And spells our ship till it
Commands and we, even climbing
High into the masts can see no
Land and fall, oh yes we fall
For twenty leagues and call
One to another across the loom
Time makes with water and here
You came, and they, dear friend,
My dear, dear friend are made of sand
Are made of sand.
that invisible wind
sweeps auburn leaves
along a dappled roadway;
that birdsong fills
the crystal void
between bare branches;
that the dazzling sun
pins a great blue heron
to its reflection on a flat pond;
that Sierra peaks
rise in a citadel of winter
against the remote horizon;
that, without intervention,
season follows season
in this valley of light.
—Katy Brown, Davis
of stingless bees,
I now resent
the flugelhorn, ocarina and kazoo
that sound only
to hear themselves
that cool the edge of the air
meeting at the juncture
of north to east walls.
Rocks of slush
between the bridgework
of an acrobat
with palsied mind
and torpid finger.
You said this blue sky was imperishable
But now it is gone and there is frost on
The edges of the pond every morning.
All these thoughts I had of you have gone
Away suddenly. There is nothing left to think.
I can only look out across the valley now.
I’ll sing a little song to myself, one
That you used to enjoy. It is about
The sound the oars make when they
Scrape the gravel in the shallow water.
Maybe that sound will stop my sighing.
We were not supposed to compare
The miracles when they occurred.
One was certainly not better than another;
The roses of Juan Diego to those of Theresa
of Lisieux. We were not to crumple at the
Tiniest comment. What of tears anyway?
We should be able to rise up to the very
Top of buildings without moving our legs.
Surely there would be the burning that carries
Us higher and higher to where
We could finally become less and less.
So we spill over and flush the earth
With our tears and quiet sorrows.
We will open the serape of Juan Diego
To see the face of the Virgin, we will find
Joy in the smallest things as we watch our
Hearts empty and fill with love like the locks
On a canal, lifting us up or lowering us
To the clear way around all obstacles,
The way singing does or looking into the eyes
of the beloved, the light reflecting, souls dancing.
TO NAIL CHRIST TO THE CROSS...
—William S. Gainer, Grass Valley
They pick the fruit
of well harvested trees,
pile their plates high
it’s not my fault—
eat your pie