Right now I am in the mountains
snowflake pebbles descend from soft skies
I ride a quad ski lift past sugar pines
warm with spring, roots drinking snowmelt
my children sit safely between my wife and me
then ski down steep powdery cliffs
turning slowly, lazy sailboat tacking
through clouds of wind-whipped flakes.
Right now I am driving through foothill towns
spread thick with trees so green
they might burst into flower,
hills that still keep the line drawn on them
by a prehistoric inland sea
long before any Mi Wuk hunted here
I could live forever in that barn
by that pasture under those oak hills.
Right now I am driving past rows of trees
apricot, walnut, plum, peach
white bark at base, white branches in blossom
so thick they might break off
into a hollyhock scepter
rich with nectar, pollen and promise.
Right now I am driving past a windmill city
so strange that Quixote
could not have hallucinated these
retro propellers off some WWII plane
luring falcons to their death;
they fall through stiff winds
to the stagnant cows below.
Right now I am on a bridge above a bay
so shallow a man could stand up in low tide;
barges dredge a channel for big ships
to move south as I drive west,
ever west, over my fourth range today
to a temperate land without snow
without sun and I suddenly realize
in two days something will happen
but right now I‚m waiting for blood to fall
from a sheetmetal sky right where I am.
by Paul Totah
April 2, 1999