I made a brief list of sounds along this path,
the least of which is the crickle the dirt makes
as the sun lands on it.
There are tiny birds who flickle
from branch to branch saying “Psst! Psst!”
and teasingly disappear from sight.
You’ll miss the slow beewing hum
if you walk too fast or heavily.
The list of sounds I love has grown shorter
as my list of years accomplished grows.
Silence tops the list,
followed in no particular order by
susurrations of wind
and the chimes and trees it disturbs,
water in tricklets or waves,
voices twined in sacred and vulgar song.
I sometimes wish for synesthesia
so I could understand if my new fondness for the color blue
is because it sounds like all those things.
Heading on past the cliffs
Where hopping ravens make their nests,
I pass the bewildered willets
And the mated duck pair with
Their stubbornly remaining child.
I spot as a likely site
A slight indent in the cliff,
Out of the wind and out of eyeshot.
I discover a seep there,
Festooned with little flowers,
And I like the play on words.
Squatting, I notice a tiny skull,
And then my eyes allow that
This is the site of a long past
When I saved that ladybug
From encroaching wavelets,
I placed him on a rock, clearly
Out of danger.
Then my eyes were allowed to see
100 dead ladybugs
All around me.
A ladybug hitched a ride and
napped for a time in the crook of my fingers,
waiting for its stop at the green place.
Funnel spiders build their homes
on the ground,
tubes of silk
woven with bits of duff on the outside.
They can tell a prying blade of grass
is not prey.
The belly of a cicada
has pointy bits for the sucking of sap,
and its wings are the most delicate lingerie.
California violets are yellow.
I felt hallelujah at the Church of Tree.
When I first got to this State
I promptly got depressed.
The worst of it was,
an endless procession of sunny days
would not let me stay there.
The more I tried to burrow in
the stronger the oppressive sun shone
the deeper blue the too-big sky
There was no place to hide in my beach bungalow
with its whitewashed walls and picture windows,
in earshot of boardwalk screams and crashing waves,
All designed to quash my brown study and wash it in light.
So I gave in
and got joy.