Wednesday, June 29, 2011


They’re moving & shifting weightlessly & elephantine above the horizon— like a Debussy piece played just by an oboe & double bass in a dream duet— silver tinges, & off to the east, a yellow sun—mellowed as summer dissipates in a breeze that whistles & rustles downhill thru the osier & dead grass—

Ice crystals coalescing in thin, thin air where nothing breathes—thousands of feet above the wind that swirls thru the willow & cottonwood—

A daydream sweetly dissonant as a major seven chord swelling in a room—a memory jarring & chilling as a minor sixth—

Last Sunday morning, the rain tapping percussive on the metal roof—a real rain, a change of seasons, when you don’t know whether to look in the rearview mirror toward what’s slipping away, or down the highway toward what might be—

Some of the pears are scattered around the tree after the storm—Eberle gathers them in a cardboard box to store— but a tinge of frost has touched the zucchini leaves by mid week, like an augmented arpeggio played in the high register on a piano— but the tomatoes still hang red & orange & green in their plot north of the honeysuckles—old songs about summer time strummed on a uke & sung in a smoky baritone—

I’m in a moment of time without access to the past except through memory, or access to the future except through expectation & dread & the clouds are roiling gray waves—& white waves & black waves rolling against the flat sky-blue backdrop—& then I’m in Lincoln City, OR watching the Pacific roll darkly & massively in from China; or I’m on the causeway going to South Hero, VT & watching the white caps scudding south from Canada across Lake Champlain—

Is poetry living in memory or is it fetching memory into a present moment? Is it making a moment where past & present & future coalesce? More memory & desire in a different key—

The north wind is shaking the willow boughs—the clouds are making their circumnavigation around the purple horizon. Some days you can see infinitely from Indian Valley—some days the fog & smoke cut off everything but your immediate surroundings— in this sense, it’s like everywhere I’ve lived—

Eberle looks up at cirrocumulus clouds & thinks of paddling a canoe across them—

It’s difficult to sit in the present without going out to any blinding stainless steel diner for breakfast with the past, & without sitting down to dinner in any North Beach Italian restaurant with the future. At any given moment, I’m living in so many times & places, while the willow boughs nod & rustle,
& the clouds move on—

Something new, something lost, something augmented, something diminished—chords on a Harmony archtop plucked in a thoughtful or desultory manner while the wind whistles a tune you heard in a dream & the clouds shift places high above where nothing breathes—

Jack Hayes
© 2010

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