Saturday, June 21, 1980

Poetry readings June - December


TREE RINGS


Rings on trees signify the passing of years
The wide light-colored bands encode the wet years.
Dark dense wood—when the rains didn’t come.
I am looking down at my fingernails
and I see growth rings there too
Except the growth is measured in weeks, not years.
The rings on my nails are for grief.
Someone says it’s a protein deficiency,
or antibiotic intake? Pregnancy,
pregnancy lost. Loss of the heart, loss of love,
lapse of memory, loss of the poet, loss of fear,
ridicule, memory gain. Water. Drought.

6/21/1980
Solstice

Monday, June 2, 1980

CHANT FOR THE LINE OF COAST, Horicon School

CHANT FOR THE LINE OF COAST

blue green
heron
blue heron gliding
herron gliding
gliding blue green
river
shoreline
blue green
wonder
gliding heron blue green
river
fish leap
river green
blue river
water splash
blue green
river, sound

river path 
winding 
wind path 
river sound 
frog leap 
salmon dance 
river sound 
wind leap 
wind dance 
river dance

one river
three mountains going on forever
two blue herons
white wings outstretched
wind blowing on 10,000 pine needles
redwood forests
red pants
four geese
green shoes green shirt
15 blackbirds flying south along the Gualala river
one coastal highway
13 views of the coast
12 winnebagos heading north
ocean river going south
ocean going river
four more mountains
one peninsula migrating north two inches a year
the san andreas fault    *
12 winnebagos at fault
the point reyes coast
point arena
pointing west    
pointing north

June 1980   

Teaching at Horicon School in Annapolis, a one-room school house meant we had an unusual opportunity. Most of the students were Pomo, so we all moved outside for the poetry residency, and wrote about nature. This ditty was written inside a  hollow redwood tree stump, open to the ocean. I don't think it's great, but it is an artifact of the times.  I literally have not seen some of this work since 1980! An odd time capsule. Added 11/16.