Slanting light casts onto a stucco wall the shadows of upwardly zigzagging plum branches. I can see the thinning of branches to the very twig. I have to sift what you say, what she thinks, what he believes is genetic strength, what they agree is inevitable. I have to sift this quirky and lashing stillness of form to see myself, even as I see laid out on a table for Death an assortment of pomegranates and gourds. And what if Death eats a few pomegranate seeds? Does it insure a few years of pungent spring? I see one gourd, yellow from midsection to top and zucchini-green lower down, but already the big orange gourd is gnawed black. I have no idea why the one survives the killing nights. I have to sift what you said, what I felt, what you hoped, what I knew. I have to sift death as the stark light sifts the branches of the plum.
Arthur Sze - 1950-
Redwinged blackbirds in the cattail pond— today I kicked and flipped a wing in the sand and saw it was a sheared off flicker's. Yesterday's rain has left snow on Tesuque Peak, and the river will widen then dwindle. We step into a house and notice antlers mounted on the wall behind us; a ten-day-old child looks, nurses, and sleeps; his mother smiles but says she cries then cries as emptiness brims up and over. And as actions are rooted in feelings, I see how picking spinach in a field blossoms the picker, how a thoughtless act shears a wing. As we walk out to the car, the daylight is brighter than we knew. We do not believe flames shoot out of a cauldron of days but, looking at the horizon, see flames leap and crown from tree to tree.