piet-my-vrou

first call of spring

did i expect perfection
that first evening of spring
when the red chested cuckoo
called me outside
to see the evening star
in a salmon sky – clear and still
horizon to hilled horizon
where all but he
held its breath
while his song
fell from the trees.

 

second call of spring

and the morning will come
when you find yourself
new out of bed
on your hands and knees
on the forest floor
thorns snagging skin and hem
following otter strewn duck feathers
along the deer path
whispering thank you
i love you and
i’m sorry to all of it
while the cuckoo sings the sky.

 

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in wilderness the shops open at seven

when i was in the shop
the egrets were flying over.
when i was getting milk,
scanning the day’s bread delivery,
greeting the cashier,
the egrets were flying over –
hundreds of wings
whispering the grey sky
i could not see.
when i was unfolding my bag,
packing my groceries,
entering my pin,
the egrets were flying over.
when i was walking to my car,
in a small piece of sky
held up by my breath and
old branches of trees,
the last egrets were flying over –
muttering wing prayers
for the forgetful and the forgotten
for all of us.

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sacred ibis

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they were made for this sky.
wings shaped by this wind
that rushes and flows
over bent trees and low roofs
tossing them back to the
gods who named them,
formed them wisp feathers
of drizzle and grey-shadow,
of sodden silhouette black
and the startled white
of light breaking below the clouds
illuminating their flight
before evening falls
like winter rain across the hills.

still here

 

do they get tired
waiting for us,
watching us lose
and find ourselves
on endless repeat.
does she, hand extended
wait for my return,
longing as i do
for reclamation –
offering salvation
to the sound of my foot prayers,
redemption at my dark soil
under nail prayers
as if none of this
has happened before.

does she wait at the tree
my heart in her hand
saying here,
you buried this,
i kept it warm for you.

 

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drinking water from other mountains

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1.
it is my old song of stones,
my bedrock home of
granite bones in seams of
clay and loam
that must be left behind –

2.
mothers are a special kind of god
defined before they even know it
by their making and making of a world
and like all gods
the day comes when they say
what the fuck were we thinking
giving her wings to fly away.

3.
when your daughter leaves
your world is suddenly
or bit by bit
simultaneously smaller and bigger.
the places she lived contract,
collapse into themselves
on well thumbed folds –
kept close
while the places she lives
grow roofs and walls and trees
until she stands at the door
and her house whispers home.

4.
i went with her to the spring on that mountain
whipped cold by wind and the almost taste of rain
washed the travel dust from my feet
and drank joyously.
this is the water that sustains her
these are the stones that grow her bones.

5.
and as the road carves home through red mountains,
straight rise and fall to the horizon
through desolate hills under a sky still promising rain
though the sun now sits low
and the hills of my own home greet me
i wonder if it is consolation
knowing the water there is no less sweet.

in may

dandelion 009

mist waits low
on autumn fields
tangled in grass heads
brittle as bird legs
and bleached of seed.

(in and through
the pinking sky
small wings have
purred and wheeled,
quickened the day,
carved shadows
from light)

but heron stalks
the morning,
swirling silence
with each
careful footfall.

this day

i wait for it
the light over purple mountains
that will come
like the wings of the egrets
shushing the morning
carrying my breath to the sky
it will come
spilling across farmland
and forest
along the plateau
dipping valley after valley
until it finds me
waiting
last hill before the sea
paints my shirt in blues
draws hair and eyes
from the shadow of night
claims my hands etched in time and light
willing and waiting for this day.

 

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