Katherine Hastings

Issue #
February 18, 2013

The Day In Silence Under One Burning Star

Came the day when we watched the river,
when we walked the woods
breathing, observing, sauntering
west county world, thus.

Old men in hip waders, licenses
clipped to their hats, mourn the absence
of fish. Not a hat, but a basket for flowers
on his head. The green on the ducks —
much brighter than the birds in Golden Gate Park.

Mallards dive and dive again,
raise to the surface, shake like labradors.
They swim the clear current, break through
light dancing in place. There is nothing amiss.

Not the gold leaves dropped or the mistletoe
bunched in nude branches. Behold
the emerald crimson clear flowing world.
Even the small dog crosses his paws, gazes
in silence. An animal knows paradise, fish or no.

But for one golden drop on the redwood tree
where would nature be. Redwoods shine
with yesterday’s rain. Moist, cool moss,
mushrooms, the warm orb shining softly
through trees. Ravens speak across the canopy
from deep in their throats. Once a woman

felt the sun blissfully, laid across its voluptuous
print and napped. Like old times, faerie times,
every tree an altar to vertigo, lawlessness and flight.

Tender world of little streams,
of small tongues speaking ancient identities,

we sing as mockingbirds sing,
always bursting forth.

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