From the Home of Furious Wonder

They peeled open my eyes to see
a planet that sings sorrowful lullabies
and the burial songs of the Tigris and Euphrates.
Where a chemical dirge drifts into the lungs of Lake Shasta
and a halo of smoke rises from the tremulous waters.
Where the Australian longhorn borer came this summer
and gorged on the clean bones of the eucalyptus.
In the eclipse an earthquake cracked the adobe in Sierra Madre
without the warning howl of a single coyote.
Where each day our hearts beat by timbered ribs
and we mourn a death in the atmosphere.

But I have heard there are still true arrows
and buoyant stones surfacing in forgotten streams.
That there are fresh footprints on the path
tangled with summer berries.

They say there is a once abandoned junction
where, by the dead neighbor's door, a cradle rocks.
It is to be placed at the hearth
built from the granite of the tributary.
It will tilt toward the light of the first blue moon
and be consoled by innocent untroubled sleep.

Poems by John Waldman:

The Water Month
The Heat
Of Madrid
The Lake on the Border
The Woman in the Hat
The Jewelry Box
The Corner
Huber's Tavern
The House in the Town
From the Home of Furious Wonder
From What Is Left Behind
The Den of Finitude
The Story of a Mountain

TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets