Wednesday, March 28, 2012

There Is News of the World to Tell

Kind Voices in Evening Light

January 6, 52°, evening in my front yard garden
Looks down the hill of Wingohocking Terrace,
A good place to plant terrace,
According to its native pre-Columbian namers,
And I am hoeing a row for winter arugula, the ground soft
And dark, under the waning blue glow of the sky, in the
Shadow of a rising waxing gibbous, when up the hill
Climb two figures, one in the roadway, one on our sidewalk,
Who calls “Hello, John” in a kind voice – my neighbor Olivia,
A young grandmother, who leans over the fence and asks
Whether I am turning the soil over to help it fallow,
And I explain my purpose, and she goes in like starlight
Passing by through trees as one passes,
And after a while, as I dig, and sprinkle out the tiny seeds
From husk envelopes that look like tiny, crisp, pale bananas,
I hear “Hey, John” from the downhill side, closer, as Nate, Jr.,
Rises up his steps across his yard to home, even talking on
A cell phone, and these kind voices that know my name,
Even in the shade of a warm, winter evening, and whose names
I can feel as well in that situational way,
In that sensing of the voice and its timbre,
And the kindness of it neighbor to my heart. Then
I go out back and cry at the moon’s sweet light, and how
It reminds me also of my old mother’s hair, as did
The bunch of Queen Anne’s lace that leaned over our table
And sat with us for a few meals after she died, and which I
Stroked as kindly as her hair, thinking it was her
In another form, the form of soft soul kindness, as are these,
My neighbors, still with me.

John Sevcik

Happy Birthday Morning

There is news of the world to tell, at 6:00 a.m.,
After wind has lashed the rain against the house for hours
And the moon looks out at last through torn clouds,
The silence raising me from sleep alongside you,
To find why this silence, why the stillness of the dark?
I enter your studio and watch at the windows
How street lights pour their apricot hue
On your unfinished art,
And the finished pieces,
And how blue the moonlit clouds are above,
And how yellow the all-night living room lamp is at Karma’s,
When one car nudges darkly down the road,
Looking for a parking space,
Backs up the hill with reverse lights gleaming. Then a train
Passes though the yard space next to Mr. Boyd’s,
Gleaming green windows like the frequency of an oarfish,
Then slows on the line of Wingohocking Station to a rest.
The black auto tries another impossible space, comes to rest
Tight next to the parked cars below Carina’s.
Its amber emergency lights begin a silent alarm,
Be careful, be careful, don’t hit us,
And a figure unfolds from the door,
Circles behind the trunk, opens the back door, raises
Something invisible and climbs the stairs
Toward a porch light colder than the moon,
Cold as a refrigerator light, and it appears
To be a mother delivering her child in a blanket,
To a nanny, or relative,
In the midst of sleep, while the car waits warning, warning,
In the lonely, silent street.
The high moon looks down from the heavens.
The quiet street waits with the flashing car. The sky
Moans a low note of wind somewhere just above our roofs,
But careful not to ruffle a hair in the street,
Nor wake rudely a little person left
and looked back toward, as the mother
Descends to the waiting car, turns,
And waves goodbye to someone
In the window or door, in the hesitating guise of someone
Sweetly missing already the one borne into the world,
Before driving on. The car calms its lights, just once
Shining red at the corner, like two partners, two hearts.

John Sevcik