It’s somewhat of a challenge to pick out one poem among the many contained in a book like Gathered Rain. The reason is that the book is a single tapestry of interconnected strands. It’s woven with currents of the seasons as they flow through, in, and around each other along the course of their cyclical progression. The earth, as it revolves about the solar center, is the shuttle of the loom, weaving the thread of the sun’s amber rays into a mighty fabric within which each living thing on the planet has its place, and its purpose. I’ve tried with Gathered Rain to embody that. Each piece is one thread in the overall living weave.
So, I hope that you’ll keep that in mind as you read the following poem. It gives, I feel, a good sense of the mood of the book. When I read it, I feel it implies other movements elsewhere that will be addressed and touched upon. Those are to be found in other pieces, whether they are pen-and-ink drawings, prose, haiku, or other poems. There’s motion, a current flowing through the book. Each poem is a stop-over along the moving stream. And, like Heraclitus said, “You can’t step into the same river twice.” For me, that manifests in the living quality of the images and experiences evoked, which changes and unfolds from one reading to another, and in moving from one piece to the next, much as the moments of every day bring new insights, new strains of life’s silent but ambient song.
This particular poem was written in Cardiff, near San Diego, after a long walk one evening. I was watching the sunset. It was a perfect temperature, and a quiet time that was most conducive to reflection. I was drinking at that wellspring. As I reached the end of one of the streets, up high on a hill overlooking the sea and the city, I drew near to a particularly large Torrey pine. I noticed flickering brilliant white movement in the tree, and as I drew near, I realized this was caused by several snowy egrets.
Across the sprawling boughs
Of the grand old pine
Three egrets dance and fret
To find the perfect spot
For the night.
Sounds of the day settle
Into the soothing ocean,
Sunset sends lavender, gold,
red and purple inks
Into the sky.
Under the hush of day’s folding wings
The distant cry of a baby ready to sleep.
At my window, the velvet drum
Of a fluttering moth.
For more information on my book Gathered Rain, feel free to peruse the following.