Sunday, July 25, 2010

Driving at Night




















Driving to Napa down highway 12,
winding up Jamison Canyon Road
under the night sky alive with light

we see the full moon
shine on lingering cattle,
still grazing in quick-silver shadows
through darkly rising pastures,

and as we glide past dark cliff and ranch,
a new brightness gathers
like a busy, hovering helicopter,
or an airplane
searching for its landing strip;

but never moving,
far too constant to be human,
this bright planet rivals
even the rollicking moon,

this Venus,
mad lover
of the philandering sun,
guides us on
to Napa.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Unripe Apples Fall

Unripe apples fall
and lie wasting on the ground,
spots spreading into brown,
circles, decaying, waiting
for sun and time to gently take
seminal seeds into the warm earth.

Small birds fall
down low
from their high, swaying tree,
to where patient
fallen apples
melt and glow.

Two looming hawks rise
waiting for the time to be right,
to turn their dark wings
and with swift silent stroke
give feathered death
to these surprised souls,
casting them like seeds
into dark soil.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Contact

ham_radio

I search the narrow rooms of memory
through steep, childhood hallways
under high ceilings, past dim, flowered lamps,
when, trembling, I hear echoes calling me
in deep tones of summer thunder
to our willow tree out back
just as the blinding lightning
contacts
and shatters the still-living wood.

Afraid,

but compelled by my father’s gentle voice,
I retreat
to another room
in my mind.

In the kitchen, at the top of the long, painted staircase,
I hear small, shrill squeaks and low, electric hums
coming from your ham radio set,
and walking down, I see you,
hunched in the red glow
of your magic box, calling softly
into your silver microphone,
“W8PNW calling CQ, calling CQ, calling CQ”

O lonely angler, you cast gossamer lines into the eternal, black sea
looking for a catch, any response, any acknowledgement,
but I’m with you! Standing by your shoulders,
I hear the distant human voice respond
“K8QJZ to W8PNW, receiving you loud and clear!”

I feel your joy of connection
as, quickly you fill out your special postcard,
(American Bald Eagles triumphantly unfurling your call letters)
to mail to your Newfoundland friend.

This, too, is contact.

Another soul found, identified, and filed
in your list of ham-buddies, and I grin with you
as you sign off
and resume your patient search.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Limited Vision




I can see 
through the far 
arched window 
nodding leaves 
and bright limbs 
rising over my 
popsicle-stick 
fence. 


I can see 
shimmering, 
blue heat 
rising like oil 
thrust high into 
the empty 
glimmering sky; 


But from this comfortable, dark room, 
confined by dimly glowing walls, 
soft light melting 
through heavy drapes, 


I cannot see 
the whole picture: 


The insect 
trembling on the vine; 
the hungry finch darting, 


or the hawk, 
rising on invisible gyre, 
soaring beyond 
my limited vision.

photo Copyright (c),© 2003-2007 by Soleil Lapierre

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Beginning















The road calls
its whispering song
as early trucks whine,
red-shifting down the highway,
past the heavy curtains
of our room.

But we’re ready,
early risers,
eager to begin.


The motel lot is already alive,
as sleepy travelers
coffee steam rising
with the morning mist,
dream of going
to the coast,
to the mountains,
to the desert
To glittering Las Vegas,

Going
to see all the places
In the thick triple A book,
following sure, red lines
on bright, creased maps,

but on my dark dashboard
the glowing GPS,
polite, sure girl
leads the way.

This road has called us
over and over,
and this time
we are going
east,  into the rising sun,

as bright white lines flash
like years in our headlights,
quickly forgotten
and always another
flying into another
never looking back
to see where we were

only seeing now
as this now blurs
into the next now
and the future
never really
is.

But such philosophy
can be dangerous
at 75 miles per hour,

so turning on the radio
we glide down I-5.

It’s a fast road,
but straight as a
boring dream,
until, beyond Bakersfield,
crossing the
high eastern limit
of the great, green valley,

suddenly we break free
into the dry Mojave,
into a space so wide
that the pink, morning sky
arches its bright back
all the way
to space.

Time itself
could get lost here,

but not us!

Time never had a GPS girl
course-correcting,  
cheerful  guide
to lead us
on our summer’s journey
across wide America.