Thursday, March 26, 2009

Western Slope Spring

March 23
Reading Snyder and Wishing I Had Stayed In One Place

Oh, he looks back to the ‘40’s, war time,
and he
just getting to know well
the woods
that are still
his growing home;
climbing Loowit / Mt. Saint Helen’s
first, certainly not last,

Suppose I’d lived here
all my life,
I’d have been up
and down Lone Cone
a dozen trips
at least
by now.
I might have found
the old names
for the mountain
by now
names that the wind knows
names that are buried
in the rock glacier’s memory
slipping past us
down the creeks and ditches.

As it is,
I know
where the rare orchid
and gentians hide
and which dappled woods
sprout chanterelles
by the belly-full.

As it is,
I know
Meadowlarks come
before spring
and bluebirds lead them
to these pastures. Killdeer
and phoebe are next and then the vespers sparrows
and barn swallows swarming song and bodies
around whole civilizations
of insects.

As it is,
this is
my growing home.

March 24
Practicing Passion

I leap from book to tea
to dreams of summer
campfire coffee and rain
dripping from trees. All the Latinate
plant names to savor
and later in the season
baskets-full of raspberries, hidenum,
boletes, bellies full of fresh chanterelles
and poems, poems, all year

March 25
After Reading Snyder “Icy Mountains Constantly Walking” and Wondering What I Would Have Said if I’d Been in that Bar in Galway, where,

Over beer, men swapped “stories
of passions and wars.”
In the tribe of mothers
I at last have a place
and something
to say;
my chirp
to add to Snyder’s
growing chorus.

March 26
Remains of the Day

By three o’clock
all but the most shadowed
snow has melted
and the red-hatted
pink-scarfed pinion-armed
pebble-eyed snowgirl
in full spring sunshine.

Weather Report
-for Rosemerry, on her way to the orchard

You made yourself sad
peeking at tomorrow
you saw how the snow
will continue and the cold
will come as it always does
on the backside of the front,
wilting your hopes
for peaches
plopping to the grass
with the soft sound
of release.
All those blossoms
you walked in
last week
will be gone
in one night
and all you can do

is stay with the kids
and all your husband can do
is turn on the fans
and you can all
cross your fingers -
well, you’ll have to cross the baby’s
for her -
and imagine
just imagine
the look on her face
when she tongues
her first juice
of this year’s rarest
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