It is here on this ridge exposed to the orange dusk of mountain autumn that the story begins. Buck wood for the stove feel the heat of shoulder to tendon greet the mule deer and water the garden again. In rhythm, with song when the ax begins to blend with wind carry on to warmer days on the river’s open banks where the fervor of healing is found in water. Flow from one origin to another-- there is never a place where we cannot begin where the current is ancient, the wind is young teaching each other like the ax and the wood. Carve a place for dignity plant a seed and pray for rain for sun for understanding outside your self. There will come a day when they say: who do you think you are and another day will come for you to tell. On that day the story will appear but do not tell of yourself tell the story of the staff that blossomed in the desert or the one about your enemy’s greatest victory tell the story of somewhere else
In the hard shadow of the moon
when the recesses of light have gone
and the faint red of the hawk’s shoulder has disappeared from the sky
in the growing pulse of the praying mantis
when the city has come into its own new light
it is here where I often remember:
the weaving of ocean vines
the trails of history, cemented by touch
the small ridged blossom of the cowry shell
the indigo dye made radiant by the seller’s basket.
The way the long grass
emerges at the shore.
Something of that meeting.
These are memories both distant and near
traces of them lived and felt
laughing in the company of the ones who came
holding the silence of the moment, as we stare
with wonder, at the bubbling ruptures of a painter’s canvas,
pull, with care, the clinging skin of a stubborn fruit.
I recall these moments
not from the grand gesture
of a thing once known,
but from a small place
the place where my child’s hand
is hidden warmly inside my own.