Friday, May 6, 2011

No crisis

Beside and beneath the rows of wheels,
the crow moves her crumb with a sound like “mine!”

At last, I’m in short sleeves again, a Hawaiian print
that attracts bees. The neglected sidewalk back
to my desk, cars pass above and beside me.
This is Marin and the world. Summer promises
a tiredness, the urge to unplug while deadlines
turn brittle; anyway, I’d just as soon get fired,

drop to sand as warm as wintertime flannel or
into grass to become the tomato in the salad,
to penetrate the backyard, treasure map in hand,
and stop there by the broken statue, twining
cobwebs around my pinkie. Setting out to rake
the leaves from the library of last autumn,
I stay to the shaded stacks, then let the piles sit.
They could melt away while I rest on a stucco wall,

using the stillness to try to unknot this feeling,
this urgency, this incessant incessantness
that something must be done, now and always,
faster, more efficiently, for the good, for me,
for you, to make everything worthwhile.

Such is the knot. Such is the shady spot.
The smell of jasmine will move me
when we are ready. There is no energy crisis.


  1. I resonate with these lines at the ending:
    "The smell of jasmine will move me
    when we are ready. There is no energy crisis."

    I appreciate the somatic richness of the earlier stanzas, I am there in the warm summer air, lulled, cellularly expanded. Reminds me of Wendell Berry's lines from Wild Geese (a kind of life mantra)

    "...Geese appear high over us,
    pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
    as in love or sleep, holds
    them to their way, clear,
    in the ancient faith: what we need
    is here. And we pray, not
    for new earth or heaven, but to be
    quiet in heart, and in eye
    clear. What we need is here."

    ~ Wendell Berry ~

    (Collected Poems 1957-1982)

  2. "become the tomato in the salad" just one of many fine lines in this poem I like a lot