On a clear day,
from the foothills,
the roads wink with silent spangled traffic,
red-roofed clusters of the towns lie still as turtles in the sun,
farther on, the towers of the city rise up from the plain,
like beacons,
like promises,
like fangs

here on the pathways,
the margins of last night’s ice trickle away.
In their winter pasture, the bulls doze
A butterfly, yellow and bright as a scrap of sunlight,
dances in the wind
in the arroyo, a shepherd follows his flock
their bells echo along the rocky slopes
the air smells of wool and rosemary

in the high sierra
the peaks are bright with snow
through the clouds, shafts of light
point out the eternal wonder
of a field, a stone wall,
the flash of a stream
where it slips between the trees
and cloud shadows write riddles
among the rocky folds

but today, a brown and yellow haze,
night airs trapped beneath a cap of cold,
winds among the towers and spills onto the plains
like a sigh
like a gasp
and rises like a silent wave

I wait for it and wonder
where the line of it will fall
when it washes up against the lower slopes,
this surf of a long flooding tide,
and I wonder, who will be here to hear its thunder.

Writer, walker, poet, educator. Commercial fisherman, builder, donut maker, organic grower. Boston, U. City, Maine, South Africa, Madrid.

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