evening poem, July 16, 2015


In mid-April, when dawn was still late in coming

And gray half-light lingered long

Hovering over the dewy lawns.

I left breakfast to check the seedlings in the garden

Short rows of single leaves, tender, bent,

indistinguishable from one another now

The cold-weather plants: broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.


I shivered in my shirt sleeves

Savoring this momentary remnant of winter,

This remnant of night

And eyed the layers of yellow straw

That I had spread after tilling.


I was not sure of those forms

At the bottom of my terrace’s gentle slope

There where the fine-scrambled and straw-covered soil

Met the tall grass my mower didn’t reach.

They might have been only clumps of straw

Stained dark

Or clods of dirt that had escaped the tines of the tiller.


When I stepped onto the tilled earth

And it compressed underfoot

I was only a few yards away

And I discerned the eyes of the two baby doves

Too naïve to be afraid.


I was only expecting the normal

The yellow straw and the brown earth

And my tiny plants.

But I saw new life, vulnerable and exposed

Sublime in detail and form

The subtle colors, the flawless faces

Mysterious in origin. Why? How?


And I wanted to stay

Right there in my tracks

And enter this new world

Of beauty and surprise.


copyright 2015

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