Sunday, January 17, 2016

What I Hear
Late Summer 2014

by Maury Grimm

I hear the mockingbirds scolding
the dart of hummingbirds, a whir
the engine revving, a horses’ snort
Robins returned for ripening fruit

I hear the ripening of currants
a buzz of bees
the horses’ hoof hitting ground
I hear the shift of clouds

I hear the shift of clouds, that high murmur
broken mare’s tails adrift
the cumulus foaming
against the Sangres

I hear the pattern of leaves
the quelites flowering
the earth holding roots of parsnips
daucus and salsify

I hear the wings of butterflies
the hummingbird moth
lighting on the radish blooms
I hear the long probe

The sand moves when I walk
I hear it like doves
I hear the limbs of trees
these old Salix nigra finger
the summer sky

Not only do the bird songs vary
I almost know each one.
I hear how each wing resonates
species to species
I hear their spectacle in flight

Like wasps do not sound like bees
nor even the pesky fly
not one has a similar buzz
even the broad bumble bee has its singular sound

I hear the truck going by
laden with bee hives
an airplane overhead
and the sheep nestling
into the afternoon shade

I hear the yellow roses fading
pentstemons and jump-ups now overtaken
by hollyhocks, rudbeckias
I hear the rain settling into the dry earth

I hear the red-tail hawks, all ways on time, circling above
a fly bumps into the screen, another train
passes through town
I hear my neighbor return
gravel bitten by tires

I hear my heart
my pen across this paper
my eyes struggle to see and make
heeded the words I hear

I hear the follicles of skin the wind raises
that stand on my arms, my face
the truck with its hitch rattling
the distant wanting dog

I hear the heart wanting
the heart, if it could be overheard
with its stories of loss
with stories of hope, the dreams

Wanting to hear the birds
the soft shuffle of hooves
that do not want to eat the milkweed
I hear the jasmine-scented blossoms fading
pods forming seeds

The seeds of shepherd’s purse and amaranth
that come up all summer if I let them
I hear them in places
bursting the ground

A siren, I hear the crows
a conversation between the magpies
and in the night, sometimes a yelp
coyotes or dogs or both

I hear the heat on my toes
when my blood flows too hard
when the heart is quiet
I hear the heart when it pounds

I hear the click of a grasshopper
in the afternoon heat, clatters
grass breaking underfoot
or on the teeth of the sheep

I hear the flies
more restless in this late afternoon
I hear the manure and smell its sweetness
the hay being cut

I hear the sheep
watching me through the fence
and the thunder coming
in this afternoon’s storm

And now the rain
in all its blessings
beating on the windows
my skin, onto leaves
I hear it through nostrils
the leaves sucking this sparse moisture

I hear the smell of ripening currants
the amaranth and purslane winding around old bricks
and the old church, not far
its old bricks empty, decomposing
into the old and overgrown yard
I hear the rust of the old Studebaker
where it rests

I hear the well pump click on
the measure of time like clicks
the hearts’ desire denied
the many times leaving, the many times returning

I hear the presence of the beloved
the child, the lover, the parent
gone, but never gone, I hear them
voices that fill memory

I hear the dust
the demise of rock
ground by water
air and time

And I hear the water
a roar, a pounding over rocks
the crash and then thin vapor
when it returns to cloud

And clouds, I hear the air
its sky colors
from white to black
azure to crimson

I hear the wind in a breeze, the howl

And time
I hear its muffled drive from then to now
to where
to all that is my history

I hear my legs split apart
the birth of my children
my mother’s last breath
my father’s stern voice
grandmothers' lessons

And I hear nothing
only my body moving
through the water
through air, through time

And this morning I hear the poet
breathe then gone voiceless
a hole in the wind
where words once stood.

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