I found them at dawn, half asleep,
Hanging from a twig of crepe myrtle,
Perfectly aligned with the magnetic poles,
Antennae twitching, testing the Autumn air.
Here is something strange I say to no one.
Watching them rise above brown fields
And bittersweet thickets, their flight is
A wild orange river yielding to an opening sky,
Weaving left and right and southward,
A convergence of simple knowing.
Here is a story written in clay, and the protein
That rose up to accept air, reminds us we are
Brothers, the iron in our blood is prehistoric,
And star stuff.
To remember these stories I plant words
on paper, old calendars, napkins, in journals.
Anything witnessed I gently inspect, record.
Like yesterday’s garden humming with bees,
or later that evening the star-dusted sky.
This morning I lean against a fence, heavy with honeysuckle,
waiting for dew to lift, obedient to a nearby sun.
I open this entry with a single word: Seed,
and stuffing my journal in my pocket I commence
a careful inspection, moving down a row of squash and beans to be,
north to south, as if navigating between poles of the Earth.
I carry my hoe lightly…
When everyone has gone to sleep
I carry a ladder outside,
and prop it against the Moon.
Then I start to climb
taking one rung at a time,
careful not to tip backward
into the Milky Way,
or bump my head
on shooting stars.
I keep on climbing, up and up
over the air, into black, toward the light
until I see Earth round and blue,
and the black blackness beyond, cold with vacuum.
Looking straight ahead I see moon dust,
the Sea of Serenity, comet tails.
Occasionally I point my flashlight
at the brightest nearest star,
and leave it on a…
When not reading, writing, or rambling around the world, I enjoy collecting fossils. Haven’t found a T-Rex skeleton yet, but there’s always the next dig.