By César Love
I seek escape, not in smoke
Not in drink
But in rocks I’ve gathered
None are boulders, few are pebbles
The perfect mass gorges my two hands
Hardness is my comfort, density my high.
The Black One brings me to outer space
The Purple, a utopian palace
The Orange, a feast devoured slowly
The Grey, a ferry to oblivion
My comedown is softness
Reality, a sinkhole in feathers
Below my pillow
I keep an opal
Always the Land
When the storms end, he is quiet to all but the deaf
Many hear the whispers of streams, the mumbles of rivers
But below the threshold of a lapping pond
There are sounds as soft as a tadpole’s heartbeat
At volumes quieter than grass
The land delivers a wordless sermon
You are free to leave before the end, for the sermon has no end
Can you bear the spastic stillness?
If you can listen for ten minutes, you are free to ask a question.
If you can listen for an hour, you can ask for anything you need.
Ask what about your bees?
The trellis on your porch, broken by the eight-foot weeds
It’s painted and repaired, ready for the blossoms
To greet the sun and moon, ready for the blossoms
To welcome back the bees.
Listen to the honey spinning into gold
Ask what about the blackout?
Remember the fireflies you caught so long ago?
You hid them in a basement jar.
Realize you’re one of them.
Hands unlock the lid, hands let all of you free.
Listen to the land echoing your glow
Castro Valley, California
Blue water, mirror of day
Show us the breadth of the sky
Dark water, mirror of night
How lovely the moon on your throat
Sweet water, ripples and tides
Ladles of kisses
The brush of your tongue moistens our clay
Deep water, so certain the currents
Sleepless their movement
Sleepless your will
Still water, gentle the splashes
So peaceful your power
So quiet creation
Surprised on sunny park grass
The intrusion of sprinkler water
Hidden fountains meant for moonlight
Let loose by mistimed dials
An accidental shower
Perhaps you scamper from the grass
Safe and only a little wet
Perhaps they give you a hearty splash
Soaked or dry
Savor the wet sparklers
The cool of deepsome wells
This is not the Alhambra
This is not Niagara
The rise and fall of water drops
An arc of musical notes
Spiring to the sky
In love enough
To fall to Earth.
© César Love. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: César Love writes poems about displacement and the search for home. He can be found at open mics of the San Francisco Bay Area. His new book of poems is titled Birthright.