Monday, February 1, 2010
Esto Perpetua: Blue
The Lonely Road Home
On the edge of the darkened wood,
a silk-veil whisper
through stilted trees standing sentinel along quiet fields.
Here, no whippoorwill remains.
Those undulating fields fold like a prayer: soft into blankets of earth.
Red clay furrows bristle with cornstalk-stitched rows: the little girl walks alone down each row, cornstalks brushing the faded cotton of her dress. She gathers arrowheads in a old coffee can, under blue fall sky.
Shells from ancient seas lie far in the earth beneath her feet.
I, lover of stones, shells, whippoorwills:
meet you on the boundary, the tree-line
of that dark unspoken land
far beyond the line i always knew.
a thousand miles distant
the sea tosses
in her bed--
and the summer wasps
tick, tick, tick
against high pine ceilings
in a forlorn clapboard country church
perched on red dust roads that lead into pine-forested shade.
I too, turn, restless
into the waiting haze..
leaves of memory
drift unanchored in the rain of unseen oceans, furrowed red clay fields.
The sea moans low and unyielding-
far, calling me to her.
Mother, I whisper,
oh my mother,
I hear you in the salt of my longings,
the droplets on my face, in the whispers of shells.
Shells twist forlorn in the slow bottom current,
cornstalk shadows underneath.
Clouds roil gray over the water,
the ocean hums
a thousand miles distant,
every word clear.
The heart turns on axis,
gravitating in magnetic pull
to the yearning of shells caught in the sea's depths.
In the call of the vanished whippoorwill,
memory sings loud in the shells
with their red clay hearts,
the rasp of corn stalks under the fall blue sky,
the ticking of summer wasps on that dry pine ceiling.
Oh the lonely road home.
--Bonnie Joy Bardos ©2010