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Creek Running North

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January 27, 2004

Mount Wanda

Ignore for a moment the monotone susurrus
thousands of tires on wet pavement
car alarms and tailpipes roaring.

Red-shouldered hawks still cry clear in the blue oaks.

Never mind, just for now, the burgeoning city
hundreds of thousands of single family detached homes
between this muddy path and Mount Diablo
the traffic lights and sirens
and planes descending into Oakland.

Black oaks still shelter a winter's crop of miners lettuce.
Each year sloughs a foot of soil off the restless slope.

Blue oak and black lean precariously
over dripping creekbed. Creek drips
past moss-covered rocks
in a beaded chain of small pools. Pools bear
floating wooden globes.
An insect bores into an oak twig:
a gall swells up around it.
Black oak and blue drink from the creek,
shed galls into the creek.

Feral calico stalks a Nuttall's woodpecker. Startled,
the cat runs along the path for half a mile.
Nuttall's drums.

In a live oak canopy, the sound of rain:
a hundred small birds, unseen, their wings brushing the stiff leaves.
Northern flicker on the next ridge
call like a child's horn.

Ignore for a moment the flaming refinery
down by the Carquinez Strait
and the ugly damned freeway four hundred feet below

An ancient black oak limb
two feet thick
sags heavily to the ground and then
buoyed by the soil
grows up straight as a new tree.

Posted by Chris Clarke at January 27, 2004 04:32 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs


*sigh* What a nice thing to read after a wonderful yoga class. So far this is looking like a pretty good day off. :)

Posted by: Rana at January 28, 2004 10:42 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs