I live in Santa Cruz County, California, with my wife and a July abundance of plums. Much of my writing has centered on the homeless, which we also have an abundance of in the county. I have work in Storm Cellar, Star 82 Review, and eclectica, and forthcoming in The Homestead Review.
Even the Invisible Air
There is nothing on earth that does not have a tone.
Even the invisible air sings when struck with a staff.
I walked in the dusk walled from the world
of crowds and commerce by the star-studded sky,
insulated from the chaos and cacophony
of day by the dim and familiar fires overhead.
I lay down and perceived, grass-held, glad.
For what happened next, I have no name:
the sky compressed, hard as flint. Forest
separated into trees, each mythically large,
and the streams of wind became rivers
overflowing their boundaries, filling
the deltas of my cells with buoyancy,
my face flushed, and tongue employed.
I rose enabled to assuage another's sorrow,
enabled to aid the caged souls and the battered
though I lack the capacity of feathers and flight
to convey those victims of our mortal misfortune
to the curved nest of heaven on earth,
I rose puffed up and puffing
from no other clay than that from which I'd been made,
man of mud, dumb and ephemeral.
During the bang that began the universe
light waves crackled and hummed
the atomic theorists say, but as I walked
holding a stone surrounded by apple blossoms
and the moans of cows from milking,
what need I know of the beginning cell
of all being, what need I know of spheres
producing tones in celestial ways and times
or the mystic practice of the particle,
the new scientific high priest tapped
into the power lines of the cosmic?
I broke and repaired as I lay on the grass
like the sky split by a staff of lightning rejoined,
then heard the building thunder of joy
rattle through thin panes of flesh,
and knew more near than reverie and unguarded dream,
more near than solace, joy, weeping and laughter,
than love, in all its pre-conceptual splendor,
in timbres of mass, of energy,
even the invisible air can sing.
©2015 Jeff Burt