A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
— Lucien Stryk, Davis, California, 1988
Concentric and contemplative,
he was — on my gardened ag-land —
not meditating on the wit
of the lemon, almond, toyon,
the tense, explosive wisteria,
or flannel bush, when I could see him;
nor on the decency of the peach,
halcyon apricot, long-nosed whiff of bay,
bulb of orange, when I could not.
His head appeared — implying
slow counter-clockwise timing
of the feet and then his hair
would disappear until he’d meet
the top of the counterclock again.
His mind was one where at a time:
the peppertree, the Jeffrey, the panoramic
sugar egg of guava petals
drew him out from a penumbra.
An apple set him in the sun.
but he named none.
So what if he missed them all in winter.
Cold bark, a pearly procrastination of sky.
I’ve thought, residing on this ring,
anything there is a god for
there is a human for;
anything there is a human for
there is an insect for —
there are six good legs for a mantis case
tied to a shrub twig,
and a mouth for every nectarine
and serenity for every loop
that strings your laces together walking it . . . .
From Certain Uncollected Poems, Ostrakon Press, 2012.