If there’s an ocean at the end
Of the street, even the puddles
Seem headed that way. The huddled
Buildings, grey and blue, bend
Their angular corners towards the hills
If the end of the street so wills.
I think, as my feet aimlessly wend
Their way down foreign streets,
That there must be a mountain,
An ocean, a future, to meet.
You see that streak in the middle?
That looks like a river? It was actually
A little sliver of rain, just a drop, really,
The only one left after the wind
Had dried the rain that fell constantly
That day. I wanted a picture
Of the mountains streaked with ice
Vivid under the flat grey of the skies
And I didn’t see that single streak
Slipping down the glass windscreen
Carving a seeming crevasse on the peak.
You won’t notice, unless you’re very near,
The mountain, moved by a tear.
The blues had become maroons, the reds
Bled into dark greens. Faces paled into half
Bleached shades of forgotten friends.
My anger emerged in livid shades of bile.
I took down all my pictures and made a face-down
Pile. We turned our faces determinedly away
From this light that had turned our nights to day
How wickedly seduced into believing
That the winter darkness and our sadness had anything
To do with each other. Now another
Spring woos me. Shows me how the past year
Framed me. Asks me to turn my face around
Think about putting protective film, this year,
On the windows that bring the sun in.
Grow a thicker skin.
When falling out of skies
It’s best to be a mountain.
Your descent to earth a flow
Of rivers in reverse. A settling
Of stone on soil, a closing
Of spaces between. No fountain
Of might or mercy, but sighs
Etched into the rock face.
A rising of Grace.
It’s just as well, sometimes,
To see no trace of the storm.
To crunch through fallen leaves
With joy. Not to note the forlorn
Branches, that say nothing of thieves,
Or the berries that cling. In foreign climes,
It’s best not to notice, sometimes.
Such clouds that haunt the blues
Are best seen in sunny skies.
Across the path, just feet away,
Another berry tree lies.
Standing, still, you can hear it say
‘Leaves, or berries, you have to choose.
Thus much to win, thus much to lose.’