The layers of mussel, sea stars and limpets
I saw on the rock at low tide
I see echoed in the layers here at Horse Camp Trail,
looking into the vista towards the shore.
First the soft fog, tinged with pink,
then the darker hills in the distance,
the serrated blade formed by trees.
The closer ridge, softened by light
into a gray green brown
dappled with shadowed pines and redwoods.
The closer ridge, each tree distinct,
each bark face clear in the half light.
The trees just down the hill from me,
the madrone covered in Steller’s jays,
wax wings picking berries, drunk with life.
The low coyote bush just at my feet,
white tipped, patient, placated
by sun and wind.
Then my self, layered
with 42 years worth of ringed worry,
old fears self-pruned, no longer of use,
old dreams realized, forgotten,
still cherished, like a hard candy rolled in my mouth.
To this layer of time, without troubles,
breathing cold air, seeing for the first time
living waves of light
to a deeper layer where I synthesize the light
into prayer, into lightening,
into words yet to burst like berries
onto my mind, onto my tongue
into poem turned prayer turned breath turned song
that will save me just when I need it most.