Monday, April 4, 2011

Meditation on Brown

It's April brown. It's cabin-crazy, Sunday brown

and we haven't seen the sun

for seasons. We'd rather see brown

than be blue, and so we are driving

the gravel-sparse county, not knowing

where we're going. We feel the pull of it.

It's caution that turns our music down

and makes us realize our stories

have no end or beginning.

It surrounds us: ditch and patchwork fields:

the straw and the clod, the fissure and crack

of a wet wound healed and reopened. We ride

parallel the slope and climb. We tic off time

in terms of sand and loam and clay unbaked.

We witness slide, the silt, and off-kilter hills.

Run off makes for unplanned ponds.

The feathers of ducks are the only green thing.

Otherwise, it's dead grass

in the unfenced yards of people who

know no neighbors. If they planted flowers,

they planted them long ago. Wild bulbs

make their maybe promises of crocus,

hyacinth, daffodil. The house on the hill

is a fortress, whose fence opens out to field.

This dirt is machine worked

or hand sifted by winter that knew no

letting up. Don't shoot the messenger.

Winter is a precursor to that thing

we've been waiting for. I'm sure Spring

is tucked somewhere out here

past the city limits signs. Bless its softness.

Bless the sometimes disappearance of snowflakes.

Bless the impressionistic tracks

and the roads still closed to traffic

that doesn't exist. Bless the paw print

and the hoof beaten sod, the dust we grind

into the welcome mat. Bless the boots

drying outside the door, bless the cat

who chatters at squirrels. Bless the cold

linoleum. Bless the steeping cup of tea,

and the hands making prayer hands around it.

Bless the returned lovers trading heat

and hoping winter will soon be over

under this familiar white blanket.


  1. I loved this gritty poem of life in the country, of details and vistas and of feelings and hope, and of course your thankfulness for it all.

  2. "The unfenced yard of people who know no neighbors" nice line - esp. for a city girl like me where there are secured apartments and we still don't know our neighbors.

  3. 'a wet wound healed and reopened'..what a vivid image..I don't think we have 'brown' landscapes as such in the this was a real the ending images as well..great contrast..Jae :)

  4. Raw reality and beautiful blessings! Such a tension of beauty!