Sunday, June 05, 2016

On What Planet

Saturn and Some of Her 62 Moons
(Anonymous Photo)

—Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982)

Uniformly over the whole countryside 

The warm air flows imperceptibly seaward; 

The autumn haze drifts in deep bands 

Over the pale water; 

White egrets stand in the blue marshes; 

Tamalpais, Diablo, St. Helena 

Float in the air. 

Climbing on the cliffs of Hunter’s Hill 

We look out over fifty miles of sinuous 

Interpenetration of mountains and sea. 

Leading up a twisted chimney, 

Just as my eyes rise to the level 

Of a small cave, two white owls 

Fly out, silent, close to my face. 

They hover, confused in the sunlight, 

And disappear into the recesses of the cliff. 

All day I have been watching a new climber, 

A young girl with ash blond hair 

And gentle confident eyes. 

She climbs slowly, precisely, 

With unwasted grace. 

While I am coiling the ropes, 

Watching the spectacular sunset, 

She turns to me and says, quietly, 

“It must be very beautiful, the sunset, 

On Saturn, with the rings and all the moons.” 


—Medusa, reminding you to celebrate poetry today by attending Mosaic of Voices at the Avid Reader on Broadway, 2pm, featuring Cathy Arellano and Sarah Jiménez.

 Sorry I didn’t hear about it sooner, but 
Blue Nile Press’s Sacramento Black Book Fair 
for another way to celebrate poetry!

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.