Thursday, July 25, 2013

Secrets Yet To Be Told

Gualala Beach
—Photo by Cynthia Linville, Sacramento

—Tim Bellows, Sacramento

Springtime, come wrap us in maple green,
sun-bake us – just to bring on our easy breathing.
We have been frantic too long

in sifting-down snow, or hurrying through the days,
looking down at frozen mud, ruts
dusted with cold white.

If we don’t go up in smoke
over the thrilling fragrance of your daffodil patches,
we’ll pen words that blossom-burst

into singing notes, giddy as children.
We’ll take in light green weather;
and be words that feather, shake,

untuck wings and fly off as melody.
It will dissolve all commentary, grief and opinion.
Heart-helping April poets’ words can scatter wide,

cover the globe, evoke all - from quartets in white tie
to trekkers in the bitterness of exile
to princes in their emerald empires

to the glints of a hard-won serenity
lasting a gemstone minute.
So come on, springtime, convince us

you’ll caress us a thousand years.


—Tim Bellows

A poem should go the way
of an ocean, an orchestra,
tuned up, steaming up
from chaos and ready
to pour Mahlerian largos
cargoed heavy, ordered, yet
aching like the dirt, granite and
gold of this hard-wired world.

Poems intone till the stereo in my study
fairly disappears and I’m left
taking a deeper breath,
throwing my arms back, then
talking on these rattling buttons,
going on like any fool,
turning everything over
to the slow-rushing tunefulness
where I’m born as a word, where I
die and I’m all the water, all the air.

It doesn’t make any sense.
I’m desperate to simulate the white
rose of the Ave Verum, to be
the very fact of its clear-eyed lake,
calling out leafy words all
during my tea and typing,
my buoyancy, my flooding-out
major chord like phosphorescence.

Or should I be addressing you,
my typewrit Sanctus of lines
made in this mild hilarity
of clickclacks in the a.m. Made
on the dirt, granite and gold
of this drop-forged world
where blind poems can only long
to be heaving water-swells loaded
with vital salt.

 Sebastopol Cemetery
—Photo by Cynthia Linville

—Tim Bellows


Count yourself among the faithful and find out
   the fifth, last, highest substance that waits
above fire, air, water, earth. You’re this
   swimming-up desire finning its way
through wildland winds and upland grasses.
    Over the spirit-crowns of all visible bodies
lie finer water droplets or ice particles held
    in skies untold leagues above the sea.


Empty desire swims the memories in your eyes,
    pours through all celestial bodies you’ve met. With
faith and the god-honesty of salt meadow cord grass
   as it catches the intensions of ocean breezes,
take on the living perceptions of glasswort and common reed;
   You’ll see all sorts of immaterial fires rise up.


Moving air agrees with the whistlings of osprey and willet.
    These you must never deny – as you give yourself up, give in
to the blue heron’s hazy sound, her comprehensive mind
    that surrounds the sky-peaks suggested
in slate-blue eyes and wings. How they open like slight-of-hand
    and seem to spread across your seeing, vibrant
as flames down in iron-sided ovens.


Now a nudge forward to your own surprised flight that,
    it turns out, waits for you in distances above all
you have questioned, denied, charted out – and loved well.
    Still, the heron’s quiet whistles beyond flutes, lifts the air,
penetrating all the affection your mind could say. Ever.
    Clear down to your departed lives, down to bits of rock,
clay and dark sediment. Now for the wings of essence, like
    beginners’ lessons, mapped with your own spindly pencils,
squinted eyes and stubby hands, creased and
    crisscrossed this way and that.


But now your teachers come – great, wing-creaking
   flocks of songbirds settling down, flapping the air
blue and white. And so they’ve landed, devoted,
    out of all degrees of weather; they
tread the sea grass meadows. Count yourself
   among the faithful; find out how you’re
secretly held in skies miles above sea and sun.
    Which we once called God—but now these gracile birds,
in the countless leagues, have taught us a finer largo.


—Tim Bellows

The sun crept upward.
Day one.
I made resolutions,
prayers toward
being a better man for her.

Trembling noon
next day,
we’re painted red for war –
battles over how
to clean a paint brush off –
our close-held fine points
on proper
cleanup of water-base paint.

Late day, we droop in chairs,
we notice the old sun’s
inching downward.
We sigh, thinking of day three,
where I hope,
by many strands of miracles,
that we’ll arrive – together –
at a dinner-time dessert
of halved strawberries and honey.

I’ll eat and sigh,
my slow gaze
taking up residence
in her sweet eyes.


Today's LittleNip:

—Olga Blu Browne, Sacramento

I listen to the wind,
it whispers in my ears.

I will tell you no lies, I
will always return.

I hold secrets from
the past.

Ready to embrace
secrets yet to be

Listen to what I say
I will tell you no lies.



Sebastopol Cemetery
—Photo by Cynthia Linville