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Poets of the Monterey Bay

Four Poems by Rosie King

The Blue Sky at Pinnacles Again

We’d come in spring, you and I, young
in our marriage, seeking out the first yellow violets,
the trickle of creek at the start of the trail,
Indian paintbrush higher up,
you with your camera leading the way, knowing the names
from the wildflower book,
left behind today and suddenly missed,
like your hand around mine.

They’re still here, these immense ruddy rocks
with their sculpted shapes, rounded and quiet,
long settled in, each dewy shadow at their base
bringing miners’ lettuce, milk-maids, the surprise of early
shooting-stars—and still, near these old lava-flows, so close to
unchanging, my heart beats quickly on the steep ascent.

Sculpting the Angel
                                      for Robert Duncan

Angels we talked about, climbing the coast,
the curve up Skyline, brightest blue.
Gabriel, Raphael, the Elohim!

We said guardian angels are intimate—
presences we called them, intensities . . .
as at Luxor by the Nile
where H.D. first saw
those giant carvings of the bee.

At the door of your house,
steep steps and the stained glass windows,
we laughed when we shook hands twice.

I returned across the bridge . . .
when in the company of the gods
I loved and was loved . . .

O clouds, I say this darker day-after,
filter the light back softly.
Let me see this thing I am shaping,
sinew and bone—
eye-socket shining!

Imagine Being Voiceless Forever

A way to speak may surprise you
like the web in the night
when you rise for a glass of water—
skin tingles all through the house.

Where have you been?  Flying?
The book of the muse in your arms?
Can you find your way back in the dark?
This is the candle, here by the bed.

And the thirst that woke you?
Just listen.
These are the deep night sounds:
waves’ roar
and your love’s soft breathing.

Rest in This

A few pink streaks low in the east,
the sea fog rolls in—
let it pull you
away from the buzz
of motors and news
barefoot to the cliff
down the wooden steps
to the mudstone shelf
soothing to touch
then watch, along the fog’s edge
a kayak barely moving
parallel to shore.

You once knew stillness—
breathe it in
let the ribs of a shell
brush the back of your hand
puffs of wind
on your cheek
and the sun’s
increasing warmth.
Close your eyes
and listen
to the length of every wave.

Copyright 2007