Coast to Range III
Late night, ocean reaches the high ridge humus,
dripping from needle
down through the centuries,
between dark limestone,
saved from both man and sun,
past moss and leave’s deep indistinguishable rot,
and again up through the centuries,
cradled onto a bed of silt,
filtered cold and clean.
Descending, with life upon its path,
each drop feels its way home.
Splitting deep in the hills and falling
into soft spotted duff,
cool spread amongst the uniform roots.
Seeping down to drain
through the slick mudded marsh,
it collects thick and full upon familiar tides,
steady afloat, awaiting the signal to recede
out with the broken kelp,
riding current low off shore.
Apt to rise yet again with a long days heat,
called East to new soils.
Coast to Range II
Falling with the day,
each low dank, life draining tide
blows about webs in
low sprouted stem,
yellow upon sectioned limestone.
And whips over rusted rails before
wrapping faded pumphouse ply;
alone in thin rows,
thick with August leaf.
Its path, left to the hawk, climbs
the lands of foraged past,
free once again
to scatter the Northern range,
rim perched over the long agrarian plateau.
Coast to Range I
Only worn dirt and the faded 1
define order on the surface of this land.
Along with footpaths,
outlining patches of seasonal lush
distinct from the dry natives, rising
on steep gilded summer hills.
Hands claim each corner of land below,
coast to range now
flat tamed for fall’s profit,
with work meditated and swift,
for there is no halting winter oceans
steadfast on reclamation.
If the past runs true,
the wild, be it wind or water,
will one day bald these acres.
But with just prudence,
fertile soils may bear once again.
I am here to be guided by the elder.
Invited under the blooming white flowers
to find refuge from the midday heat.
Digging knuckle deep into the cool rich duff,
I find last night’s marine layer feeding thin white roots
Confident it will soon veil Scorpio yet again.
The old man’s high red weathered cheeks speak of his path
jumping with the seasons
North, South, lead by the wind of passing storms
and the surge of spring tides.
Making his way deep into the forest,
he finds the powers of his youth still determine his path,
where one final resting place is built, from the land, for the land.
A temple fit to rear a child and feed a growing family.
A temple willing to provide for its builders,
And return to nature what is rightfully hers.
Yearning for the water, we cut through dry meadow
and navigate the blackberries, still too soon to pick.
Peeling into the shade, onto the fresh dampening footpath,
we cross through a young grove,
and drop down to the stream, bent around a toppled stump,
glistening where the sun has found its way through the high canopy.
It has long wound through the steep gorges up above,
passing splintered fallen scrub oak and feeding lichen
held tightly to the slick rounded limestone.
Settled now, and fed from all sides,
it finds a steady path deep in the basin
growing wider, slower, allowing birds to drink and clean with it
and the fern to dig its roots in.
Having run its long path, it will dissolve into the far reaches of the marsh,
giving itself entirely to new life.
Knowing the depth of this stream,
we instinctively climb into its past, step by step,
resting every few bends to retrace the joy of our journeyed past,
and open ourselves to what new may feed us in the future.
The path is thick and overgrown, but soon the spring will expose itself.
The old man knows where the seep can still be found,
brightly spotted wet and green,
buried deep in the dried tan oak bark and redwood needles.
He will certainly guide me to it,
For he too still yearns to drink from such a fountain.
No Matter The Distance Between Us
Brew the coffee and check where she sits,
How she slept,
And where she may hold me today.
I know not to push her,
Let my desires run rampant,
And lunge to her at the slightest of invitation.
I am fine with waiting, watching her fade in and out
Of frustration and melancholy:
Retracting for reasons I may never understand.
But I still sit and watch her here.
Still see the beauty in her chest and shoulders
Expanding and contracting with slow breath.
Having sat with her through many a seasons
I now expect the rolling in her sleep,
The shifting of her weight between long lulls of stillness
Exposing glimpses of the beauty I yearn for.
I use to jump at this,
Believing her arms would next open,
But she lay still in the fog,
Needing more time to find her place.
She seems to open herself when
I need her most and expect her least.
Peeks her eyes, smiles,
thanks me for my patience, sacrifice, and love
and invites me to settle into the soft crook of her neck
so I may feel her heart beat.
I am reminded that we are two distinct droplets,
Born and fed from the same spring,
And our cycles, no matter the distance between us,
May always be in tune.
As I now lay here,
Stretched out so she may engulf me entirely,
We exchange respects back and forth.
Close our eyes and bow in thanks.
Acknowledging the extent to which the other has gone
time and time again.
I know she will soon roll back into her lonely ways,
Pushing me off to wait yet again,
But I do not suffer in this respect.
I know our cycles will bring us together in time
And that too will surely pass.
Until then I will dream of her,
Write and paint of her,
Look at pictures of her,
And fumble in giddiness as I speak of her.
I will lead others to places I have been with her
And explain that if they too silently wait,
They may also feel her love.
Some of these others have already been with her,
Or presently caught in the thick of desire.
I love them all the more for it
And lend a hand when needed,
Knowing that this love is not depleted when shared.
It spreads like a healthy wildfire
bringing life to those ready to grow and feed each other.
I will look for her again tomorrow morning.
When the light first graces her,
Looking over her shoulder to see if she has awoken.