Before we come with rakes and crackling
energy to clean it up,
the backyard is precisely
as the dog prefers it -- left alone,
a natural selection
of leaf, stick, bone, pod, seed, and stone.
But we are cosmic instruments
of music and disturbance, only
animals by half,
and will not let the season bleed
its shifting earth designs
of stone, bone, leaf, stick, pod, and seed.
Some earthscapes rearranged
are gardens, or hillsides
shorn to make a path for wired poles
or graveyards stiff with grief
or clearcut forests. Let me take care
of seed, stone, pod, bone, stick, and leaf.
Let me recall the universe
is breathing in my breath, it plays
its tune in me, it dreams my being --
an unnamed, unrecorded god
becoming conscious as I am
of leaf, seed, stick, stone, bone, and pod.
I am a painting made of sand and pollen.
Structure and spirit
are my codes. Nothing of life
is random or a trick
I draw myself a part of all
with pod, leaf, bone, seed, stone, and stick
The circle of the seasons turns
and never comes back quite the same.
Fertile impulses in time
will overgrow the patterns I have sown,
return to animal wilderness
of stick, pod, stone, leaf, seed and bone.
Let me be glad
new seasons bud from stick and leaf,
new forces split a pod and spill the seed,
new rhythms rise from stone and bone.
Dolores Stewart Riccio, from Doors to the Universe,
Bellowing Ark Press, 2008