ONE AT A TIME
What will you do with this bright day that glares through the south window and makes you open your sleep-sanded eyes?
(You only get one day at a time.)
All night the wind tossed the garden, and the dust is giddy with it. See it whirling and sparkling in the light?
Dust to dust.
Make a space, as you must each day that suits you well. If you feel hot and scratchy in this suit, make another.
Cool your skin with shade and scent of blossom.
Gather scattered leaves and petals, knowing absolutely that the effort is futile.
(You only get one at a time.)
Hold them for a moment before the wind sails them off as, of course, it will.
I am not talking about the black cardboard cutout mountains pasted against the apricot-lavender sky showing off two bright stars.
I am not talking about them.
I am talking about the round, brown hills and the fading fingers of sunlight playing with shadows, teasing dark crevices and valleys, making them crave the full light of the milky moon rising slowly in the east.
I am talking about them.
Even now in the California drought
Eucalyptus sentinel cathedrals stand firm among the
Tall silvery rye grass and bunches of wild radish/mustard/carrot
Garnish ribbons of road all along the 101.
Bright poppies with succulent orange green juicy ice plant edge
Miles and miles of grapevines young leaves strung out on wire crisscrossing the hills.
Pepper trees drop berries and sycamores drop leaves
And beneath the earth these natives and immigrants share the wealth
Nurture one another.
In the California drought.
These daring, determined yellow blossoms were not used by
priests to mark the traveler’s way. They were here long before
the priests, long before the roads.
This year they are scatter-splattered balls of color unwinding then
in bright blankets
covering dips and crevices
all along the hillside, all along the road.
Startled poppies try to elbow through the yellow clusters, the tall spires.
They thought they owned the wild spring.
So did the lupine. But not this month, not this year.
A tiny wild fierce seed of mustard may wait for fifty years
in the California ground before it rips itself apart,
as seeds must do, to grow.
Now it’s their grand chorus, their turn in the sun.
Can you hear the music, the message? Can you see it? It’s very clear.