Morning sun coming through green leaves
of the Walking Stick Tree, backlit
and sunlight stunning. News from the poems
take me out of myself, while I wait
for Karen to join me on the porch.
She’s gone for the next two days,
quilting landscape with an artist
who teaches blind children.
Last night Karen showed me
images of quilts
she took with the camera on her IPhone.
Barn and mailbox. The quilted sky
I mistake for a mountain range.
This is Karen mapping her way
from the garden, out of West Valley
through the eye of the needle.
She’s going through Ukiah
carrying her own material,
along with tulle, a soft cloth,
finer than netting, toning and disappearing,
foot peddling images of painted hills.

Jim Bodeen
19 May 2016


            for Dean Stewart

Front porch morning sun
after tacos with lime-garlic
marinade on grill.
                             Last night
late night meal.

Dean and Gretchen.
Gretchen brings a salad
with more stuff than one
can fold into a burrito.

Gretchen likes the stones
in the garden more than the trees
and it warms my Hank Williams heart.
So do I love those river stones
shaped by time, older than any tree.
Those same trees doing what they can
to save us all.
                        Saying good night
in the driveway Dean giving me
that Greek word for forgiveness
which I leave a space for in this poem,
writing him for it.
                                         By noon
this morning’s so far gone
I remember nothing
that has anything to do with sunrise,
the hole for forgiveness
in this poem the one thing
I have left to cling to.

Under a weeping birch tree
Lou Reed sings clear
in the year of his passing.
It’s a temporary thing, he sings,
Keep singing, Lou, I say,
Keep singing, waiting for the word,
and it arrives in the mail,
in time, Dean’s letter: 

(or af-ff-A-me).

And it is the typical word
used for forgiveness
in the New Testament.
            It has several uses/
translations: Send away,
            let go    dismiss   forgive

The question: let go of what?

            What does forgiveness do?

For the effect:    take what was separation—
            remove it.        Let it go.

Start again without separation
            the forgiver
                        lets go of the advantage

Lucky man      temporary as the song     as eternal

A pastor’s etymology—

Word  in time
Finds the whole in heart

Jim Bodeen
20 April—19 May 2016


Other things.
Other things.

Too much water
on a Shimpaku Juniper

and it goes anaerobic.
A new leaf uncoiling

like silk from Karen’s studio,
on the Half Moon Maple—

as if, as if it’s beauty
stopping me.

Jim Bodeen
18 May 2016

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