I mark the arrival of the days
with wings, sometimes brown,
sometimes blue, or scratchy reds,
speckled greys, nondescript hues,
the blur of sparrows or a splash
of magpies at play. One by one
or all in a flutter, new ones come
while others fly away, the stuff
of dreams and memory, endless,
pulsing waves of distance measured
as time, my humanness defined
by how I fathom energy and space.
I rely on the return of the birds,
these smallest of beating hearts
that find and ground me in earth
and rock, bind me to the passing
hours, hold me captive to this place.
mundane (plural mundanes) An unremarkable, ordinary human being. (slang, derogatory, in various subcultures) A person considered to be “normal”, part of the mainstream culture, outside the subculture, not part of the elite group. (fandom slang) The world outside fandom; the normal, mainstream world.
It has become mundane
to see two eagles hunting
from my kitchen window.
There are no surprises here.
Work in the fields is hard.
Men come home without fingers and limbs,
Sometimes lifeless in the back of beat-up trucks
and squeaky wagons. Maybe you’ll get a chance
to visit bedside in a hospital in the nearest town,
gaze at the broken body and the bandages.
Maybe you won’t get that chance because
no one can recount the details, no one saw.
Sorry, ma’am, there was nothing could be done,
nothing, not now, not then, not ever.
Here’s what’s left of him and his clothes.
He was a decent man. That’s what I learned.
I learned this sweet life could be over in a flash.
We could be struck down off a John Deere
tractor like a dove picked off a low fence line
by a well-aimed rock. One minute you’re here
happy, singing like a lark, and the next…
well…it’s a good thing horses and wheels
and the sky can’t talk. That’s what I learned.
Honestly, I feel betrayed, you know,
that schoolgirl kind where your heart’s
too big for your chest and you can’t breathe
and your throat constricts with pain,
with tears that you won’t cry
because you won’t let yourself,
because you’re too wise, too strong
for that now, because you’re old enough
to know better and it shouldn’t matter,
not at all, not in the bigger scheme
of things, life’s chained link dreams,
spooling back into funicular days,
a span of memories too wide to be
retained, held loosely within the confines
of an aging brain. I feel betrayed.
Waves of time pass through us.
Like the wind, we are never the same.
Seasons return, varying minute by
minute, day by day. Still, our fleeting lives
will not be measured by heartbeats
or the breaths we take. If we awaken,
at all, we live to tell each story, sing
each song of survival, every chorus of hours
lending tempo, melody and rhythm, composing
the symphony that sweeps us along through
the movement of our years, with no discernible
score, no orchestration, a work of art that cannot
be claimed, only created in our name.
With sunlight failing,
we come down
the hill in darkness
toward the light of home.
The dogs know the way,
though they hesitate
to go where they
cannot see, without
first smelling the air,
making sure the path
is clear, and nothing
is out of place. We
uncommon these days,
with lives full of wires
and webs, switches and
hums, bells and reminders.
The dogs stick like burs
to our boots. We linger
in the cool shadows, sharing
a moonlit sky and stars.
We know the way home.