May 5, 2015

Do you drink the water or the wave ?


I found my new glasses at the top of the street, all the pieces on the pavement, flattened by the weight of cars that ran them over and over. 

I'm sure I left them on the trunk of the car in the garage when I headed out to walk Maddie and Morgan a few days ago.  I know this routine, this is the 2nd pair I lost and then found flattened on the street a few days later.   

The broken eye glasses reminded me of a poem I wrote in 1978 when I was living in Redlands, CA with Dixie Kanold and her older sister.  The visual in AFTERNOON: a broken lawn chair, last strap about to tear. 

The first few lines….. 


broken lawn charm 
reading Fowles 
instead of Rand. 
One line asks
do you drink the water or the wave ? 
One line tells me 
September is only a page away. 

Do you drink the water or the wave ? 

I've always liked that line, I am not sure if that's from the John Fowles book I was reading at the time or not. Sounds like a Pablo Neruda question from his collection, The Book of Questions.  


What is the distance in round meters
between the sun and oranges ? 

Who wakes up the sun when it falls asleep
on its burning bed ? 

Does the earth sing like a cricket
in the music of the heavens ?

Is it true that sadness is thick 
and melancholy thin ? 


In the middle of autumn
do you hear yellow explosions ? 

By what reason or injustice
does the rain weep its joy ? 

Which birds lead the way
when the flock takes flight ? 

From what does the hummingbird hang
its dazzling symmetry ? 


If all rivers are sweet
where does the sea get its salt ? 

How do the seasons know 
they must change their shirt ? 

Why so slowly in winter
and later with such rapid shudder ? 

And how do the roots know 
they must climb toward the light ? 

And then greet the air
with some many flowers and colors ? 

It is always the same spring 
who revives her role ?