A study of the alveolar sacs


The bus traced the toes of the Sooke hills
Wind eddying furiously through cedar branches
Making them wave and toss and throw spray back
To the sky and heavy drops to the ground
Me in this bubble of warmth, pink and humid
And my mind turned up into those hills
The cool green canyons and crevices
The flooded and abandoned roads
The emptiness of humanity there at that moment
In this building storm.
I thought of all the fragile, warm breaths
Being taken then under root-cave and rock alcove
Hidden tunnel away from trail
A massive chorus of sighing warmth
Unheard, but some how counteracting the cold wind.
Do you hunker down? Are you waiting it
Out as I am? Ducking the rain between
Spheres of comfort? Or are you out there
Eviscerating, stopping hearts, drawing nectar,
Stealing blood, staking your claim,
Licking your wounds and waiting for the fawn
Beneath cleft who snapped its last twig
In the dim rain of that forest cacophony
As I want.

Some Questions for a Hummingbird

What is it like when you begin
to draw less nectar from fewer flowers
on each weaving course as the
zenith sags with the passing days?
Was this foreseen? Was this a part of the flitting
dialogue used to fill up the time
of each long day of the thousands
of kilometers flight just ahead of
the tropical rains, just in front of
the parching desert sun? Or was it a mild,
earthen betrayal? Cooling shoulders
at a party filled with friends
until eye contact was lost
and pistils and stamens
became close-guarded by corolla, still beautiful
behind closed glass doors. In either case
an assessment of stores needs be made. Either
studious with ledger and account numbers
or tactile in how your insides have swelled
with stored fat and begin to sensually rub
under feathers. In the dawn you wake slightly hungry now
but ready to face the sun and a distance one
billion times greater than that which separates
your beak from your tail. A flight over a
world studded with open blossoms and backed
by a tide of wind to sweep you to a
roost under the leaves of a catalpa. What I
want to know is if you can carry me there;
a mite in your feathers to that soft, warm place
so far away from this listing, autumnal world?
Away from this Byzantinnian life interwoven
with fog, sand, and honey suckle. Could you take me along?
If you did, how would I ever get back?

The Fallacy of the Atomic Clock

Steadily unfolding a
Swan takes forever.
But that time is not quantum
Or atomic.
You can’t divide it into even segments
Like slices of bread or teaspoons of vanilla.
Time jerks to a stop then lurches forward;
As if everything were connected with rubber bands
And pulled from the front by a distracted child.
Yet, after years of mastery, a crisp white square
Of paper can be folded into a bird.
The steady unfolding takes forever.
The steady unfolding of an origami
Swan takes no time at all.