Peeling Back the Layers

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.

Leave a Reply