Bay Nature magazineWinter 2011

Art and Design

West Marin Night During Perseid Showers

January 1, 2011

The sugars drop down in the berries,
no longer specific. That mangy deer
sleeps the summer off.    You’ve been here
the night away, a body with its bit
           of local pain.     Under the hazel: spots
on satyr anglewings [Polygonia satyrus] spaced
            unevenly.    Spikenard bundles
poof up from huge stalks.
       [“Then took Mary a pound of
ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed
the feet of Jesus…”]
Friday self-dislike is replaced
      by earlier mild energy.

            Fiery rocks hurl themselves through
  “heavenly dust”– (Why are ‘e‘ & ‘r‘ reversed
in fiery while f stays on first–)
You’ve been up the night away, a silhouette
of clauses: claws in the dust
making you sneeze. Vast a thought,
       vast a sky waiting for morning fog.

Pour down, light strands of the difficult;
the moon will not rise
with its golden axe of being–
If the fog is too thick, the meteors are on line:
The first void is God waiting; that
continues, of course. Then a couple of pings.
       Sounds like the back of the universe
   is getting acupuncture:
@@** a spinning is entered by needles
     of gloved rain.


About the Author

Brenda Hillman holds the Olivia Filippi Chair in poetry at St. Mary's College in Moraga. The most recent of her many books of poetry is Practical Water (Wesleyan University Press, 2010).

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