This, My Columbia

This, My Columbia
... The Columbia River

" Cosmos Cascading " (10x23)

" Cosmos Cascading " (10x23)
August, 2011 id3300

" Blacking Streaking Black Red " ( Right Corner View )

" Blacking Streaking Black Red " ( Right Corner View )
August, 2011 id3286

Saturday, April 03, 2010

" Tacoma Blue Sky "

From Lawton to Hopkins
From Watson to Hoode,
To Great Grandmother's house, I go.

From Hill to Berry,
Generations vary
Timelines tarry,
Tho my mother's genealogy
Is well within me
And still in tow.

My long dead
My long forgotten,
I've come to know.

Putting pen to paper,
They are close within me,
Part of my constellation -
A gene stream -
A starlight show.

Three hundred years in America
And I will be next to go,
Childless, a screeching halt -

A part of the tree
That did not grow?
A flower from whence
Tomorrow's seed did not sow?

Nay, I say
For well after I am dead,
My words, my poems
Singing like voices of children,
Will still be read.

For with pen to paper,
No sense of loss or of dread,
For dances with the past
And love dreams of tomorrow,
Are twice be loved
And twice be wed.

For coming full circle,
Great Grandmother's house
At the end of my path
Where destiny was etched,
And the returning heart has lead,

Back up the mossy,
Northwest steps
And through aching hinges
Upon a sparsely painted, warping door,
And along a musty carpet floor,
Passing tables, wooden pieces
And a rocking chair

Out onto a back porch
And the patina of disrepair
To where a backyard of childhood's,
Crumbling fences and an ancient Pear,
Remembrance, it is there,
The sweet scented soil
That begot me

And the out-of-fashion
Flower beds and borders,
And amongst the weeds of time,
I laid myself down again,
For but a few moments
That turned into an hour,
And slipping too easily
Into the by and by
Of Tacoma's bluest sky,

I sat up startled knowing then,
It was too soon to die,
For many and many
Of lines of verse to write
And waiting for goddesses
Tipping into the night.

And standing up
Deciding not to overstay,
And the sound
Of my Grandmother's voice,
And hearing her say:

"Add another poem."

Then she said:

"Add another day -
Go on Grandson,
Walk away!
I am with you
Step by step,
Moment by moment,
Word by word.
Weave your children,
Noble son..."

"Fade from here
And journey back to me,
And once again
We will embrace
In the sunsetting
Of yet another day."
. . .

I always knew
That I would see her
Yet once again,
My Great Grandmother.

That we would speak
And I would feel
Her cotton apron
Against the side of my cheek
And her hand cupped
On the back of my neck
As i stood three feet tall

And her scent mingled
With the work of her day
And the warm sweet of her breath,
Down the sides of my face,

Because always
Have I remembered
That week of Summer's first day,
When lying on my back
In the freshly turned soil
Of her flower beds,

As she sat higher up

On several flights of stairs
Upon the back porch,
Looking down
And across the yard at me,
Saying nothing
For moments upon moments
And minutes upon daydreams,

As i wandered
The bluest Tacoma sky of 1949
And the radio's voice
Of President Truman;
She liked the president,
Told me he was "pure Missouri"
And a good man and "resolute"
And i thought that meant religion
Or something complicated;
But she liked him a lot;
And Glen Miller as well -
He had the big band orchestra,
And who was lost in a plane
"Near the English waters"
As i think i remember
How she said it,
It was during the war,
She said it was.

And now I look

Across and down
Into her backyard garden
From my mind's eye view
And see her napping lightly
Upon the freshly turned
And scented flower beds.

And sleeping gentle now,
All our memories are scattered
Amongst those Forget-me-nots
And from seeds of Poppies
That she had planted,
Each Spring now fifty years
They merge and bloom
After once drawing
So softly into the earth,
All the time
We had together,

And the scent of Lilac
And the song of Bluebirds
Carried on the winds
With the perfumes
Of English Heather.

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