Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Sister
The sister is a part of me
I can open a closet and she is the box
Of scraps: ticket stubs and letters and zooming memories
(Always the clear green and blue of an idealic day
And the motions and distant events of a childhood.
What a mystery memory is).
My days are recorded in her face
The laughter echoes
Rapidly as rocks being thrown at a window
When the child looks down at a hopeful face.

The soul is quiet with the sister
It is the quiet earth throughout time,
With shatters and sand,
Eroded into a formation
Of sisterhood.

I saw the sister just recently
And we were the same reflection in the mirror
And the same pattern of rippling sand
Of crimped hair and plaid skirts
And hacking jackets.

We are quite beautiful together,
And peaceful,
The sisters.
Last night I had a dream that you and I were in a field at night. I was teaching you how to fly. We only could fly for a few seconds at a time and then our bodies would smoothly bounce back to the ground. I felt close to the ground but must have been high up because I gathered stars into my hands, thousands of stars like buttons or seashells or petals, do you see it? We ran quickly. And we glanced at each other with gleeful smiles as we ran. I took your hand and told you to crouch and then to jump. “You will fly”, I told you. We ran quickly through a field of green grass, green grass glowing turquoise in the night. I saw no other landscape, but I saw the green grass glowing turquoise in the night and I saw the sky that shined like the back of a whale moving through the cold ocean. But the stars shined in a true way. The stars shined like tin foil. We really did fly. In the night, in my dream, we really did fly, but it felt more like gliding. I could feel us gliding because the wind tickled my body. I showed you to crouch, to then use your legs for the muscle to push you into the sky. When we flew we were the backs of whales moving through the ocean. As we moved we hit the tin foil stars that went cling clang as they shattered against our sides. The stars dipped into my hands. They dipped like silver coins dropping into an offering plate and making that same generous noise. They held their form; they did not dissolve. The sun did not come upon us but rather we were in continual night and kept flying and landing.
I listen to the dancing of sounds
Spinning each other with wispy tulle
And shaking, shaking their skirts of leaves
Clicking their heels, the earth rewords
Quickly to the heart- the autumn wind blows
To tell the tale of the land below
Where each life falls with a breeze
Swiftly caressing the silky fool
From the heights to the dirt floor.

To walk outside through the changing woods;
To feel a part of the earth: the unspoken place
Where all were born.
But looking down to covered feet with synthetic
Forms and cushioned beats, separating from the crispy dry leaves which
Lie like gold in a Pirates treasure heap.
And try to think the real thoughts of worth
Of origin, order, or of birth
No thoughts will conjure from the dark stew
Because the soles of synthetic mark
The separation of form from earth.

It does indeed cure the shell
To lie and walk and feel the
Uncontained wild and finally
The heart can roam and
Simply breath, pulsing and
Reaching to the deepest dirt like
Ancient trees with digging roots.

Fallen trees look to the sky
Of bursting stars, licking the night like an inextinguishable fire;
Fallen, fallen to the ground
Where crunching leaves mindlessly surround
And every weather, rain and wind and sun and heat
And cold and dark and shining
Can seep into the veins of wondering men and
Give them life.

But I return to my machine
Which tells me when to breath.
I throw this book of white
Parched paper and find some bark
Where all philosophy is recorded.
The grass sways, the wind shakes it;
The trees bend, upon the mountain
And it moves, slowly consuming.

Does the morning glory, in
Its closure, wish the opening back again?
Does the apples’ heart weep when
A bruise appears on its skin- and ponder
Its youthful days on the branch?
Does the golden rod plan out the day-
And now I glimmer, and now I fade,
And here I’ll go, and there I’ll sway?
The Grasshopper
“A Leaf”
A leaf, one of the last, parts from a maple branch:
It is spinning in the transparent air of October, falls
On a heap of others, stops, fades. No one
Admired its entrancing struggle with the wind,
Followed its flight, no one will distinguish it now
As it lies among other leaves, no one saw
What I did. I am
The only one.
Bronislaw Maj
I sat down in a fraying beach chair to look at the water and slowly sip my coffee. Rain from a few hours earlier soaked the morning, and the lake blended entirely into the sky in pale grey with hints of blue. I felt a light tickle on the back of my neck and turned to see a small grasshopper perched on the chair. I watched it as quietly as an observing scientist. The grasshoppers long legs stepped slowly and deliberately and I realized I was examining one of nature’s most beautiful dances. It gradually bent its front legs and rubbed the underside of its entirely grass green body against the chair and rubbed its rounded nose against each front leg, dusting the last drops of sleep from its body; the movement reminded me of a just waking cat. Leaning in closer, I saw its green tranquil eyes shaped like little rain drops and as sweet as a child. I watched it’s gracefully movements, the way it swayed ever so slightly in the morning breeze. The rain tap tapped harder then before, and soon a down pour soaked my skin. I ran to the lake and dove swiftly into the water marked by a billion rain drop dimples, swam to a sand bar and sat down in it, pushing my hands through the thick lake bottom. The experience was exquisite. Delicate tones of blues and hardly visible greens swish swashed through water and sky. So God was painting a water color this morning, blending the colors of the world with tender water drops.

Finding the Sea Glass 7/21/06

Bending down in a smooth swoop, I clasp the new treasure in my hand. Unlatching my fingers, I toss the glistening stone from palm to palm, allowing its misty tones to remind my skin of soft loving touch. Holding the stone between my thumb and pointer finger, I try to gaze through its hazy complexion, but what once was a broken piece of glass now lay a stone resembling the polished emerald city. I imagined a sailor throwing a useless bottle over board without a second thought. It splinters against the side of the boat and sinks to the bottom of the lake, grinding against rock and sand. This churning continues for a few weeks or less, speeding the process with the harshness of each storm. Tossing back and forth, back and forth, the glass eventually ends up on the beach. A broken piece of glass with sharp edges. Harsh weather and the hurling of waves. A faultless gem.

The Harmonious Flight 8/17/06
In the morning I saw tiny birds above the whisky waves flying towards the southern horizon. The flock flew in a single file line creating a constant line of flittering wings. Their flight continued for several minutes, thousands of birds in a row caressing the whole stretch of sky. Like Can Can girls, they methodically flapped their wings. Just below them, each bouncing wave danced also, and I saw the world in both poetry and a mathematical equation- with a perfect balance of rhythm and purpose.

The Morning 7/23/06
If in the first moments of looking in some ones eyes you see flickers of how they truly feel, the earth similarly shows its true nature in the earliest moments of sunrise, when the dark sky must stubbornly give way to light. In the early morning the sun breaks through and shatters the darkness, marking the sky with coral slits and fiery slashes. On this particular morning, dark midnight clouds settle like fat lazy men, budging slowly from the horizon. The lake, with waves crashing into foamy egg white, offered colors of steel and silver, bright whites, navy, ballet pinks, and lemon. Despite the soft undertones, the water looked ancient but constant, alluring but distant- like some untouchable and beautiful god. Cold and prehistoric in its steel texture, the water stood victim to the dominant sun. Slow and steady in its course, the sun stamped reds and oranges into a dark world.
A deep breath of air. I take it eagerly. With a crash of white foam the purples mix with the sandy browns and then fade away. Little bubbles sweep swiftly onto my toes, leaving a few to liger, absorb my peachiness, and reflect it in their globe of gleaming curvature. Honey yellows dance on the edges and I think of fireflies tangoing through the leaves of trees. The low set, lazy men clouds start rimming with soft pinks and golds, slowly bursting with the morning. I stand up to stroll over to a heron bird wearing garments as purely milk white as a bridal gown, pick up a piece of only slightly misty sea glass which I throw back into the water for further processing, turn and watch my footsteps imprint the balmy brown sand, and sit down by a hill of tiny seashells. Blinking wildly, I look to see syrup of pure gold reaching for my toes. I follow the gold across the lake to the huge yellow sun, and I am surrounded. By still and timelessness. By swirling colors of browns, pinks, blues, gold’s, all in every hue and texture.
I sit here. A deep breath of air. I am tiny in this scene, a dot of pale ink on the canvas. But I am here, and I am glad to be bathing in gold. And my hands, thankful to be basked in pink light. I imagine my face glowing like a white heron, made radiant in simplicity next to every other color. My toes creep over to the blues and greens, and they welcome me with chilled water and diamond bubbles. The new light is everywhere.
I let is smooth away my bitterness. I let it take my steel grays and push through in red slivers, to seep through my toes and fingertips and melt my cold dark soul. I wanted to be illuminated, to walk as the sun and melt everything in my path.
I stood up, heavily and filled to the brim. As I continued walking the stream of golden sun chased me. I remembered the moon at night, how I thought it followed me by the way it always magically appeared outside the car window no matter which way I’d go. I remember being so bitter at the moon, cursing it for failing me, hating it for watching but not protecting. Looking again at the gold, I felt tempted to return to my bitterness. “Will you protect me?” I asked this sincerely and out loud. I shook my head; sometimes God just needed to turn the volume up and talk to me. Then I heard it, a whisper in my soul- soft as the foamy egg white waves. I heard that I needed to listen to the silence. A deep breath of air. The wave’s crash: they ask me to remember the earth when it was new and untouched. They told me to remember that light always comes.
The Oz Farm
Today I rode my bike past an old farm. First, I noticed the quintessential red barn. It should be straight, perfectly painted, with box windows and a white picket fence around it. But chipped paint covered this barn, faded to shades of terracotta and pink. The carelessly cut windows tilt in crookedness, and blank slabs of soggy wood support a run down wire fence surrounding the pasture of tanned grass. A few more tilted buildings, slight and rotting, scatter randomly through a broad field. Beside a rusting tractor, countless brilliant flowers situated in perfectly groomed gardens surround the blindingly white house with respectable green shutters. Throughout the garden sit a myriad of strategically placed statues, perching and protruding, hidden in every possible spot like munchkins popping out through layers of gigantic flowers. The garden and house are exaggerated and immaculate and argue the effort of the woman of the house to cope with the habits of her farmer husband. She is splattering beauty, pouring buckets of effort to erase the chaos.