With love for all of you, on this the eve of May Day…
Fresh as the day the world was made,
This morning: dew-spattered through feather fans
Of foxtail and wild rye. Mars is low on the horizon, for once. Still
As a caught breath, the day, hushed,
Holds for a slow-golding time, the rose hints
Of bold and bright to come, of music
Yet to be made, dances old as the village, new as tomorrow’s milk.
How can it be, four billion, five hundred million years, the old
and battered Earth,
Veteran of ice and fire, meteor, petroleum, stupidity, avarice, ignorance
How can it be, this innocence: ryetops waving hello, good morning,
Beads of crystal dew filled with beauty wash,
The bright face of the Golden One coming,
Bringing suit to his blue lover again,
And Earth meeting him with an armload of flowers
As if all the grief were undone, as if
(As it is)
The sorrows and losses don’t matter, really,
Not in the face of this coming morning
When Earth says Yes
Sun says I Am Here
The great rounding of things stately in its time,
The lone bird calling to a lightening sky:
He is risen
He is risen
The avalanche took our home.
A wave of ice drove us before it,
And everything we thought we had we loaded on our backs
And fled, but no luck: the cold fist ground us under.
Home. Years. Love. Work. Health.
We cried as it passed over us, scraping,
Pinned in place, locked in dim blue light:
The avalanche took our hope.
We lay motionless, pockets collapsing about us
Stripping away more and more, and we did nothing:
Only gazed upward, and mourned, and remembered
And night came, and all disappeared
But a smear of muted stars.
And it wasn’t until the sun returned, and murky light
Bathed us in the how and where we were
A sprout insisted beneath my hand.
I got an arm free, and reached. Scraped. Swam.
And when we emerged with our poor remnants and our lives
The white expanse was dotted with green:
Life indomitable, pressing into morning light.
It begins where the smoke hits your eyes: smouldering peat,
Mutton stew on a broad iron hook,
Deep snow. How can it ever have been summer?
Apples wrinkling and mice in the barley—
With so much to fear, thank the gods for company!
We’ll tell our tales, remember how we passed the cold
Last year, and that before. And those who couldn’t.
The grape leans across
The seasons, clasps the hand of summer’s
Dried rind, dreaming the new fruit,
Calling the sun back,
World without end amen.