On a Brighter Note, the Christmas Lights Are Up
I climb the pea pitch roof
and tack a string of white lights
to the peak. In the surrounding air,
the night spreads from my fingertips
to the edge of the continent.
I am touched by the vast Atlantic,
an ocean of blue midnight
that washes my heart in waves
while the lights of shrimp boats
twinkle white on the sea.
I think Christ would smile,
balancing the rigging in bare feet,
his arms wide, spread in salt spray.
Tonight, we unwind large nets,
buoyed in the darkness of rooftops,
a string of lights, bright
as baskets of fish.
The Teacher Drifts into Daydream
The first dandelions have broken ground and wave their yellow crowns above the turning Bermuda. I’ve brought my classes outdoors for a few minutes of writing. Free writing I’ve called it. I won’t worry about the product. My attention wanders.
Drifting the canoe
in honeysuckle shade,
a hummingbird’s light
I looked up the word morose today in Webster’s and found that it has to do with tendencies towards gloom and melancholy. The phrase spring fever reoccurs frequently in the hallways. A boy on the far bench folds his arm across his eyes and reclines in the sun. He drifts with wind currents.
Abandoned fishing cabin,
Virginia creeper netting
a row of catfish heads
By mid-period my head is so heavy that I can’t focus my eyes. Conversations swirl and sputter as if fragmented by sudden whirlpools. My canoe pushes away from shore. The river is still and deep, bottled by a fallen ash.
The plop of paddle blade
dips ash leaf mold, whirlpools
swirl away in the heat
Below the keel, schools of pebble colored shad dart upstream. For no apparent reason, they all turn in unison towards a willow jungle. I cannot help but wonder what signal was given.
the mountain spring
flows out of darkness
My class has quieted. They’ve folded notebooks behind their heads and are counting clouds, or face down, turned on stomachs, they gaze into the folds of dandelions, the creases of wild lettuce, the shadows of clover. Somewhere a lawn mower drones.
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