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Intent
At evening in a clearing where a home stood
a stone foundation rises from the grass
to suggest the everyday order
of another time and place.

The sun sets and the earth
releases warmth.
The past lingers like mist, as
a veil of difference over leaf litter.

The heavy cool air flows
from higher ground.
The cold and sound of wind
are a form of silence.

-----------

My place and my time
were not of my choosing
More likely, I would have found
a place more sheltered,
a place of unbroken pleasure
in the touch of wind
in the sound of its passage
through leaf and limb.

-----------

The air carries the scent of flowers
like a half-heard conversation.
Light illuminates their blues, yellows, reds
to flare against a background
of dried grass

-----------

You stand in a field cut from the forest
trying to remember something I said,
something from our time here.

At the edge of the field
a clump of dried leaves rustles
against bare limbs.

And though your intent is to recall
my voice, you are distracted
by the scrape of oak leaves in wind.
-----------

When you were young,
I showed you scents hidden in leaves.

You glance at the peeling bark of a cherry
and experience more than recall

the sharp sweetness of its leaves,
when rolled between the fingers.

Could you have guessed you would find
my presence in that gesture?

-----------

Out of place flowers,
linger as color in the eye,

a pattern on top
of other patterns,

flowers over gray trunks,
flowers over brown grass.

Who would choose to remember
what the body chooses?

-----------

As a child, you found yourself most present
in the patterns of loss:
in the echoing fall of the Swainson's thrush,
in the quietness of the forest after.

As today you find yourself
in a persistent, low-level feeling
that something vital, but unknown,
is missing ...

You turn from the flowers
and by turning, release
your sight from their pattern.
The oak leaves scrape a comic applause.

All things before you
hold a place in your sense
for a moment
then dissipate


1st know version Feb, 2000
Latest version Feb, 2005
This poem is nearing completion
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