Who are you warning, this misty morning?
A day in rough labor attempting to birth its sun.
We asked the rooster. The hen said he abused her.
He’ll call us all to dinner a little sooner than he thought.
Tree frogs croak like night. Daylight whispers,
you should see the other guy. Slow start to say the least,
a strength where I was always weakest.
Last night we passed through tempests.
This morning is distilled by fog.
Where is the horn that was blowing,
where has the horse gone, the rider, the rooster crowing?
How were they louder before my eyes had opened.
Mute morning leaves eyes deaf to noisy warning.
Silent as the trees plunk leaves in twice fallen rain.
Tree frogs explain their stubborn rubber song.
And why it lingers so long. The chicken growls.
The hoot owls. And an ambulance sounds
in the distance and all the neighborhood dogs
start to howl. We are up, the sun is too.
Unfortunately. So are the clouds.
An uneasy hen barks beside the bedroom window first thing. I forget who, but someone left the coop door wide last night. Sitting on the front porch while the coffee pot works magic in the laboratory. Cures Covid19. Cures cancer. Cures Tuberculosis of the spleen. Black earth bean. Bitter, dark chocolate, permeating, lingering. Sweating while piping warm liquid tumbles down bony rimmed, ringed and blind esophageal lining and those tightly pursed lips between pink acid coated cheeks. You don’t have a name on the inside of you. You’re not even someone to your organs. A level of cognitive distance where there is none physically will make it easier to make decisions to alter, or damage, or end the external you, for the sake of the squishy equipment kept inside.
Gentle early morning air is a goody two shoes gossip, telling on a smoker down the street, front stoop arguments, dog happiness turned vicious over distance. Quiet morning minutes are some of the quickest in existence. If our whole lives were pure mornings we’d get eighty eight years knocked out in fewer than twenty two. In the morning, I would never forget to close the coop. That’s something that only happens in last night poems. Last night there’s little orange flickering yellow hearted tongues licking up and down limbs that fell in the recent storms, tickling stone faced fleeting trees. Battleships could loom up in the shallow darkness that devours night time distance and no one would know but cicadas, all hands on deck after about seventeen years below, driving nails into wood to keep the ocean out. Last night poems almost never get written in the moment. So damn hard to see the page, I feel like a kid with a coloring book, one crayon hung out from my mouth like a cigar, purple spirals on the outline of a hollow pirate ship.
First thing though, I’m van Gogh, giving an ear to my art, I hear every part, even the seventh chair flute at the top of the road shrilling intermittent up to a coda. I can see everything except for firelight. Trees are giant elephant’s feet. The fleet of battleships found their feet and out they slipped, to the deeper waters of the deeper woods, lobbing depth charges overboard that explode in unseen roots and turn submarines belly up like bloated fish. Last night, the yard was wrapped up in dark like a Christmas present, and this morning came in shorning and all that nighttime is balled up paper trash framing a new puppy. Today. Now. Right now, to be exact. Everyday starts this way. Five minutes of pure joy breathing stifling hot nighttime in a mug, followed by a lifetime of chasing, cleaning up after, mourning morning. And first thing becomes last night same as dreams.
While we sleep.
I left her with the baby.
I left her with the bed.
And climbed down creaking stairs to pour coffee into my head.
To smell wet air off the pond.
And sugar off of trees.
Hear birds sing.
And thick dew plop like rain against star shaped sweet gum leaves.
I made coffee in the dark.
Found my book and the pen I like.
I took the shy dog out to be good.
We peed together at the edge of the woods.
Woke up at six in the morning for no good reason.
So I sat down, pen in hand.
Intent on writing one.
Peach fuzz on top of water.
First morning light bombarding silhouetted leaves colored lime.
Hummingbird moves little branches flitting up and down around shrubs.
Squeaky unbeautiful bird voices. Coffee breath and easy choices.
Waking reminders. Sleep is the greater portion of every day.
Affirmation of our solid universal unquestioned belief there will be tomorrow.
A pile of boots in the porch corner. Says the same thing. With silence.
Cedars beside dogwoods growing straight in the crook off sun-starved
summers spent in the shade of giants. Unilateral lines of red ants.
Wasps hover effortlessly for a few seconds and are gone for good.
Like fuzzy water. Still thick in the shade, dissipates around eight. Also gone.
And though there are a thousand better things we should all be doing. We’re not.
Like all life decided to sacrifice morning chores and collaborate
on one big monumental morning poem. While the night air still loiters coolly.
Before the summer sun has walked by with his big gun strapped to his hip
to tell us all we need to be moving along.
A good poem.
Is not written by a poet alone.
But a world on the cusp of clocking in.
And a person on a front porch sipping piping hot coffee.
Clutching their pen.