Saturday, July 9, 2011

Grace #4

A smoky gray evening fraught with the black-headed grosbeaks & moths—a fountain bubbling with transparent water time is just passing thru a semi- truck on Highway 95 blacking out the poppy orange sunset for one instant— a sleep disorder a marble statue of our Lady in a shrine past Buffalo NY a white sundress dark hysterical sunglasses a breaker exploding on the rocks at Rockaway, OR like an HO Union Pacific freight in an N scale world

There was a row of Chinese Elms in green Vermont light you don’t remember—there was a whitewashed brick building muralled with trellised pink roses—there was a bowl of yellow curry an American Spirit cigarette a wooden table outside the coffee shop a Calla lily you don’t remember—time is just passing thru like a white Plymouth on a 3:00 a.m. interstate like the cirrus clouds in white sundresses outside a wood-framed glass door

Just passing thru—a red tour bus a blue ghost light a silver ring a black & white canvas awning a blue jumper an embarrassment of reflecting pools lined with white quartz a paperback Apollinaire leaning on a pine shelf the tart odor of linseed oil on an August morning under a sky-blue sky the stars’ shattered glass—the catbird’s marimba trills the sparrow’s natural harmonics a statue of the Black Madonna in an upstate gift shop a china bust of the
BVM underneath a dormant poplar in someone else’s hands the same Our Lady of Mercy icon a lullaby goodbye an aluminum full moon sound wave

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Today: a suspended chord hovering between two open doors….

thru one the eggplants & tomatoes & peppers hang on their vines & absorb whatever sun breaks thru; the pears that were out-of-reach are still ripening yellow & falling; the zinnias are orange & magenta in the herb bed by the oregano, itself blooming white….

thru one the willow & cottonwood leaves are turning & starting to fall in the breeze—yellow raincoats strewn across the gravel driveway—the small apples at the fence line are ripening & dropping too….

This morning: the twilight’s first pale blue is a scar across the night where the horizon’s wrist folds into the sky’s hand curving black & starry overhead….

Night isn’t really infinite, it’s just a hand that’ll lift us into prehistory; the stars are so many diamonds compressed from wishes & memories & prayers swirling away ….

The moon shrinking white & quiescent into the last quarter, rising late in the night & wandering thru the afternoon sky between the clouds….

Summer was a waking daydream—even the short night’s a daydream of heat & smoke & crickets, & falling asleep in the daylight—here at the western brink of Mountain Time where the sunlight lingers almost into tomorrow (which never comes)….

& the pears we couldn’t reach hang on the boughs for a short time yellow & ripe….

Autumn will be a wakeful night, the cold light of planets & constellations burning back thru time—a thousand thousand lighthouses burning in a dark sea you won’t cross except in the thoughts that carry you thru the nighttime….

Today—briefly—a balance as day & night both leave their doors ajar—a suspended chord hanging between the stars glinting like pinpricks glittering thru black fabric & the leaves glinting yellow & slick as the sun breaks thru….

A balance—the blue scar of morning’s twilight a tightrope you’re walking between the day & night—

A tightrope—balanced on the streak of magenta—a wound between the horizon & the gray clouds at sunset—

A stasis that doesn’t last—a chord that could ring chilling or hopeful between the stars & the horizon & between the sunlight & the cottonwood leaves all falling yellow, & the chord asks to be resolved….

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer’s Evening

Yesterday evening watering the hedge, the dry grass crinkling under my sandals as I hauled the hose down the line of poplars & hawthorns & roses—& I was watching the eastern hills reflect the sunset—the crests of the hills glowing salmon pink in the light they caught from the west—

& a cool breeze blowing from the northwest—not a wind, but a breeze, but there was something clammy as well in its touch—the thought of the autumn rains that are coming in from the Pacific, we just don’t know when—but coming with somber mornings & afternoons & bringing some hint of the infinite Pacific with its spray & roar here to the infinite rangeland with its dry grass & sagebrush hills—

summer is nodding off—the dream of summer—the afternoon daydream when your body’s asleep & your mind’s very much awake & the past is a film inside your head—now the paradigm of summer is a lazy daydream undergone in a recliner with a Dorothy Sayers’ novel laid open on the arm— but then there was a time when summer was all a waking dream—too hot to
sleep, Virginia in the 80’s—spending the night & evening out in the magnolia perfume & the cigarette smoke & the laughter & desire of every nightspot— too hot to sleep, & always somewhere to go as the hours stayed static—time was different then, of course, infinite as the Pacific in a November rain—

Cigarettes & coffee & cigarettes & a sport coat even on the warmest evenings
& poetry in the cigarettes & coffee & the magnolia perfume & laughter & the Amtrak train pulling out of town north to New York in the gray green dawn or a maroon Pontiac Bonneville rolling down the streets & the swarms of flowering trees & old southern houses & back to the house as the sky turned pale—

& now summer’s a lazy daydream watching a ballgame & thinking of the
1000’s of ballgames I’ve watched & moments from them all coming to the surface—not distinct, but ripples like a trout rising for a mayfly—

but this evening summer’s nodding off, its long daydream is falling into real sleep—a pair of ducks flying frantically overhead thru the white & gray sky into the west—they’re flying into the sunset off the pond near the gravel pit off to the north— & later another pair—identical to my eye—flying west—

flying west as we’re all flying west while the first hints of the damp Pacific air whispers from past the Cascades & the Blues & the Seven Devils—

a waxing half moon halfway up in the sky above the neighbor’s barn & Indian Mountain—the moon shaped like the curl of a “p” when waxing & the curl of a “q” when waning—the skin a snake shed in the straw Eberle’s piled next to the hedge to hold the moisture—white & startling, something you see instinctively before it’s a conscious image—summer shedding its skin as the eastern hills turn salmon—

Jack Hayes

© 2010