Poetry / Uncategorized

Alchemy – Poem


First it was the dead grass,
the savage words of Chumash
Miwok & Ohlone—

then the ore. The mission men
and miners both had something

right in those early coast days. Lucky
dawns common as salt licks.
Someone had to believe

so little in one home
to leave, create another.

Before it was named
California, it kept cool
in dust from heard tribes.

As I sit on cinder blocks
in the wild of my now backyard

I toy with the inappropriate,
water for lilies in high drought.
Nothing is obsolete. We

just can’t take it in
at once. Keep it all high.

But all the devil’s lettuce
and dry hairgrass is worth it. Count
the light switches you flipped

to prolong the day. Name the moments
you felt understood. Swayed

to your place as placard
in the museum of human frailty.

We all shovel remorse
for the limitations
of living. Kneel down

at the foothills to amortize
grief and forget. Sentiment has gone

sediment. Ready the pickaxe;
go unearth the gold.


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