Sunday, August 6, 2017

WATER IS LIFE

Often when I write a poem, I have a song playing like a theme. I was repeatedly listening to If It's Magic from Stevie Wonder's album Songs In the Key of Life when I wrote the poem (below) for Zach's memorial. That album has been my anthem of the month, or like a Sunday sermon. I don't tire of it. "Love's in need of love today...L - O - V - E love today."


WATER IS LIFE

I.
Feral man Zach I met as
the most willing to climb
a giant tree in search of
bird sign. 

A year later at the rookery 
you were able to see 17
active nests in under a
minute.

Who does that?! That's 
years of study and skills
to be able to see all 
that.

And Fruitvale bridge last June,
rescuing a fledging falcon
in the traffic with your shirt
off.

Your black jeep. Before I did
not see them about until then
I met you and now they are
everywhere.


II.
What if we gather together our tears
collect them in little jars that we empty
into a metal bucket in the middle of 
a circle taking turns, we walk west 
carrying the bucket down the road 
to the coast where we create a tidal
influenced lagoon? What if?! Would
otters come? Herons and egrets?
Would a northern harrier pair?


III.
WATER  IS  LIFE
Because last month Gloria Ushigua Santi
said her people in Ecuador - Amazon
forest Indigenous people did not know 
cancer until Chevron showed up. My
own divestment from fossil fuels is for
major contributing factors, what I call  
petroleum disease. Above all that is
Wildcat Canyon where you spent your
evenings in this special acquaintance
with the great horned owls. You were  
on the ridge where western bluebirds
know to hover from kestrels and kites.


IV.
Eagle calls hawk to mountain
because we miss you.
I aspire to emulate how you
were so gentle and soothing
with my mistakes and errors.
I aspire to emulate
your tenderness.

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