Wednesday, June 4, 2008
SAUVIE ISLAND IN LATE NOVEMBER
SAUVIE ISLAND IN LATE NOVEMBER,
The Teeth of The Dead Eat Soil
The slightly asymmetrical mound
of whiteness and purity
is the feminine mystique
of Mt. St. Helens,
a snowy mountain, veiled
in ephemeral blue shadows
and layers of blue hills below.
Along the frost crest
of the Cascades, a male
chiseled and gouged Mt. Hood
like a white rooster's comb
and beak sharpens and crows.
All the colors of winter,
sere and dun, eerie
yellows and rusty golds,
the wet brown earth
and tan grasses fallen down
in the fields,
are a painter's landscape
of mirrored canals, houseboats
gray cloudy skies
and sun like a watery eye,
whipped by the wind, now still.
This time hesitates between storms,
baby blue and foggy grey.
I swear there are moments in your life
which are transcendent,
you know more than anyone else
about the beauty of the earthscape.
I do. Golden pumpkins disced
into the brown wet farm soil;
plagues of smallpox and influenza
slaughtered the Indians
of this flat island
a hundred and fifty years ago.
Their skulls molder in the calm ground,
as a field crowds with hundreds
of black and gray Canadian honkers,
feeding in their flight south.
I saw a white heron
and a blue heron
looking at each other,
in short green cropped field,
as my car rolled on the elevated road
next to the canal, a coffin on wheels.
Rusty barges, houseboats,
mirrored water, Fazio Farm,
electrical transmission station
the car and I, rock-and-roll
and this tranquil day
are on a aesthetic mission,
called man escaping the limitations
of flesh and bones aging. I cry,
Out! Step out of the car to pee.
The smell of earth, dampness
and wet leaves, assails my nose.
Brown puddles, and gravel,
cottonwood trees and piss. For Chrissake,
the guitars wail from the squawkbox.
I want to commit
a benign annihilation of seeking
I think I'll smoke a joint. No,
I won't. I think I''ll drive on
down the rutted road
and get a better look at mystical Mt.
I turn the corner
and for Chrissake, duck hunters!
Campers, old men shooting the breeze
waiting to shoot our fine
Damn, a world made violent,
by campers and shotguns.
Put the double barrel to your neck,
pull the trigger and wake up!
You dumbies should be
down on your knees in the mud
praying for moments of transcendence -----
a line of geese angling
past the whit mound of Venus,
like angels on their way
to the paradise of an empty pond.
A gray bra cup of shadow
has been placed on she St. Helens.
I am a Jersey cow,
a flock of honkers,
the red horse with white blaze
on its face,
chiseled Mt. Hood in icy light,
and an armada of feathered beings
alighting on the lake
outside the range of human guns.
A man is a gun, a bird is a saint,
the white moon in the afternoon is the eye
of cosmic consciousness,
When you die, you expire
in the other's arms,
as when you come to love.
Nov. 27, 1979