To live here
beneath cedars and firs.
To live among osprey, raven, peregrine, owl.
To feel the sun grow colder,
night more eager to arrive.
To close the barn's red mouth, the cats inside.
To come in from the horses.
To warm the hands. And with
warm hands, to sit at the piano,
teach the hands a new pattern.
Something labyrinthine for the left.
Something with trills for the right.
To watch the mind and hands work together.
To do this with sunlight between the tips
of two trees, and light falling into the room, light
that started on the sun now grazing the page,
black notes on white paper.
To recognize beauty if not to understand it.
To go out to the horses again,
bring them in from the field, lay
my hands on their foreheads, necks, withers.
To learn the music of them.
To know, then, that this life is all one day.
A day in which quail break out of their eggs
and scurry in single file across the yard.
A day in which dandelions bloom and hurl
their seeds to the wind
and the great heart of the world
grants the air its breath.
To live here and to eat and drink some piece of the day.
To say, where are we
but on the floor of a vast ocean,
blinking and blinking our eyes
as light breaks through the blue above us.
From Defending Darkness (Ronsdale Press, 2016).
Used here with the author's permission.