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Quotidian Quartet

Submitted by Virginia Watts on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:32


What will you do with this bright sun 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. The air is giddy with it. Dust to dust. See it whirling and sparkling in the light? 

Make a space that fits you well. If you
feel hot and scratchy in that one, make another. Cool your skin with shade and scent of blossom.

Gather scattered leaves and petals, knowing absolutely that the
effort is futile, but never wasted. Hold them for a moment before the wind takes them; 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 
California oaks.

Tall silvery rye grass and bunches of wild radish/mustard/carrot
Garnish ribbons of road all along the 101.

Bright poppies with juicy orange green ice plant edge
Miles and miles of grapevines; young leaves strung out on wire
crisscrossing the hills.

Pepper trees drop berries, sycamores drop leaves.

Beneath the earth these natives and immigrants share the
Exchange feasts 
Nurture one another.

Even now
In the California drought.



These 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
coming together
in bright blankets
covering dips and crevices
all along the hillside, all along the road.

Startled poppies 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 their grand chorus rises, celebrating the sun.
Can you hear the music, the message? Can you see it? It’s very clear.