Wherein I search through debris for that root, that long foot grasping soil and air, a streak of forever’s descent. Chain sawing wood I’ve breathed the metaphor of ash and earth, have stared at flame, dreamed of water, a wave of night crashing me through its strong-armed flow.
Among limestone and cedar, shadows flow past prickly pear shadows, where wild hogs root among thirsty rocks, and bandanas wave goodbye to yesterday. Hummingbirds streak past, defending borders of air and earth, and I gaze at my stunted, twisted wood.
Soon I’ll leave this plot behind, burn its wood no more. I will release myself and flow northward, pulled to a strange land where the earth grows darker, where no one knows me, and root- less I’ll stand, but not alone. Birds will streak the gray sky. I’ll proffer a half-assed wave.
Longing, I think of Hokusai’s great wave and the insect trails circling my stick’s wood as I stomp through the knee-high grass, a streak of diamond-shapes muscling ahead, that flow between life’s weeds and thorns. My old heartroot stretches past dawn, star and sky, beyond earth.
When I think of fire, I grasp the light earth holds, the origins of water and wave, the sadness of leaving. I will take root in old ground, find new trees to love, hardwood to carve and learn from, seek new patterns, flow between now and then, reclaim luck’s long streak.
Until then I wait, watch that feathered streak buzz its pendulum course above the earth. When it’s time, I’ll surrender to the flow, lie back, let go, accept the soothing wave and all it carries — losses, secrets, wood — leaving behind that sad cumbersome root.
The window’s streak contains light but no root. Leaves flow, too fast to count. The earth trembles as I stack the split wood. Just then, a wave.
* * *
“Texas Sestina” first appeared in the spring 2020 issue of ˆTaos Journal of International Poetry & Art”
I have four poems included in Purifying Wind (now available as an Ebook for $4.99, and in print for $12.00), an anthology of pieces about or mentioning vultures. I’m proud to have these poems published alongside those of fellow poets Sudhanshu Chopra, Stephanie L. Harper and Jim LaVilla-Havelin, among others. Thank you, d. ellis phelps, for taking these poems.
I have four poems included in Purifying Wind (available through Amazon), an anthology of pieces about or mentioning vultures. I’m proud to have these poems published alongside those of fellow poets Sudhanshu Chopra, Stephanie L. Harper and Jim LaVilla-Havelin, among others. Thank you, d. ellis phelps, for taking these poems.