Sunday, July 09, 2006

Black Oaks

Black oaks against an intensely blue sky, their leaves glittering and gleaming. I don't understand how they do that. From this distance you would think that each node of each leaf was inset with a fragment of mirror, catching the sun. Look at a single leaf up close and it's a dull, dark green -- no luster, no shine. How do they shimmer and sparkle like that?

I walked down to look at the brown water of Cedar Mill Creek. The blue-black backs of the swallows shone like tempered metal as they flickered, hunting, under the bridge, under my feet. Directly below, the reflection of the noonday sun was as impossible to look at as his counterpart in the sky. A predatory dragonfly skimmed the water, a hungry blue-green jewel.

Love. Love and hunger, hunger and love: I think of nothing else these days.

All that wanting.
All that wanting.

A fragment of Cyndi Lauper floats through my head:

We think we know what we're doing
We don't know a thing.

Burned by the sun above, and the sun below. A man with thinning hair needs to learn to wear a hat, on a day like this.

On either bank the young thickets of blackberries grow strongly, fiercely, exulting in the light, pushing their iron thorns out above, thrusting their iron roots out below. They mean to keep what they have taken.

Because it's all in the past now
Money changes everything
Money changes everything.

Winter will come here, whether we believe it or not. The gentle rain, the endless shifting silver clouds. The sky will learn softness and mercy. The creek will whisper in a happy undertone to the reeds. The colors will fade to the grays and drabs and tans of my childhood, and the only brilliance will be the young green of soaked grass, the dripping of holly leaves.

Love turns into hunger, and hunger into love. They must contain each other somehow. But turning this dusky matte oak-leaf in my fingers, I can't imagine how.

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