Sunday, October 25, 2015

Little Clay Figures

But there are times when reality runs skittering backwards, on sandpiper feet, when something else comes washing in: a something I might taste on your lips, or that might brush against my open palm, if I were lucky. 

Today the high white clouds were swinging one way, and the low gray ones were leaning the other, two eager dogs tangling leashes, and then on the hills above Sylvan the fog was snagged on the firs, and lay panting across the red and yellow foliage below. What quick tongue, what thumping tail, might stretch across that inlaid kitchen floor? The last of the sun broke through, guessing its way through the Coast Range, and all the colors flared against the dark.

Like one fully dressed, embraced by one naked: humbled by the vulnerabilities, and trying to guess what sense is to be made -- what weakness would be strength, and what strength would be betrayal? All their protocols are useless prattle, petty sergeants imagining themselves lords. Human beings have no time for that.

And so I held your hand a long, long time, and little clay figures caught the firelight. Their mouths were little O's of wonder, and their hands were lifted in supplication or surprise.


Greg Bell said...

Love it, Dale! You have a marvelous way of building tension in your poems by juxtaposing opposites, this time through multiple analogies.

Lucy said...

Fabulous, to be read over and over: the sandpiper feet, the clouds which are dogs which then go home and lie on that beautiful floor, the naked/clothed embrace, the petty sergeants. I love the words so much I almost ignore the images, and then so sensually caught up in the images I forget what they're images of, then I'm brought back, then left uncertain in wonder. Vivid isn't enough of a word.

Cheers Dale.