Black Canyon Aubade

by on September 14, 2020 :: 0 comments

These cottonwoods are giving the canyon its
narrative of whispers, they’re awakening,
creaking and clicking with herd immunity
and like me haven’t fully transcended the
nuisances of camaraderie. Below in the blistering
sky blue heat we’re flunking civilization, every
day sings like an empty street or one of the book
jacket covers for Camus’ “The Plague”. The forest
decodes my every move. The sun glisters through the
thin ranks of lodgepole pine searching for something
it lost, found, and then lost again. On a tree stump
grow dollops of sweet-scented pitch and I can hear
Keats roar:

heard melodies are sweet but those
unheard are sweeter

nice to know
there’s still room for him in my hardboiled mind that
sometimes refuses to listen or whisper or accept
the sound of simple open space. There’s wave
overlapping wave of grim news from down below.
The colloquy among the trees defies even poetry.
Our two nights were bulbous with silence but I wanted
to tear away from it, relearn some of my forgotten
languages, breathe in banned camp smoke,
stand in wonder at who stoked the fire beneath that
pink dawn cloud
– tumble down into the labyrinthine desert
and evaporate, leave my desiccated heart to the quiet that
knows no shadow and why is every poem now harder to resolve?
A rufous hummingbird, my favorite forest fetish,
darts in and out of the slivers of morning sun like a
blister with wings, trills out a journey of two-thousand miles,
enters my spirit like a new language. Told him I learned a
word today – windhovers – told him we were basically a
benign species, some of us were air signs, water signs,
some more attracted to war than others, many were
sweetness and light with a few fires to extinguish
inside now and then a few embers.

– John Macker

editors note:

Learning from nature – levitation above the loonies. – mh clay

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