Allen De Loach - WOOS.PU.EE


(The Whirl Wind, The Roadrunner)

for Janet Burden

Allen De Loach

     She moves    in this vision
             delicious -
     there is a setting for this,
                  the afternoon -
     full blouse  in the wind
     swings on shadows  against the wall
     veranda  silhouettes  beautiful
     in her black dress  she is filling
     the sun  her youthfulness
     she nibbles her lip corner
     biting away years between us
                                 at least
     sex is not everything ? -

     When we tell the story
          it's never the same,
               as the story goes -
     I remember Treaty Oak
           where Osceola spoke,
           I climbed its branches in childhood,
             was 5 years old
             at 1428 Alveras Street
             500 feet from the St. John's River,
                 flowing North -

     When we tell the story
          it's often Dreamtime,
                as the story goes -
     we fraternize with him & her,
           "where are you when I need you",
            they say -

     The way is very clear :

        we age.     we middle-age.

        we're older yet.

        the world is more complex
            in our eyes,

        no longer  right & wrong,
                   clear cut,
            the price of truth
        misty !

     The Old Man says

        the spirits tell
            each flower gives a scent,
                 has its own scent,
                 owns that scent -
        the names we use
            to speak of it
               we own,
               has its meaning in what
               we own -

        to know this secret
           is tricky indeed,
        The Old Man says,
           the scent is there
               without us,
     Or so that part of the story
        was told
                in the Springtime,
     The Old Man says,
                in the Wintertime
       another part of the story
                went another way -

                 in the Summertime
                    the small corn-shoots
                        sing, reaching leaves
                              toward the sun
                    the MotherEarth warm
                        cradles the roots,

     or so the story goes
        told over and over
        so simply

     without us being there -

                in the Fall is harvest -
                   we eat the corn roast
                   store corn for Springtime
                   we tell stories
                                   so simply
                   we are there
                               in every way
                               as always -
     And there is Winter,
                          so simply,
     The Old Man says,

     Tomorrow we will
             be the spirits
                           come in dreams
                           no earth
                        we walk upon -
     Today we are dreamers -
           we know what it is
              we are given to do ?

            we speak so sure -

            we do -
                   truthfully -
               don't we ? ,
     The Old Man says,

         continuing to me,
         how do you,
             passing ideas,
         how do you,
             grow your crops.
         how do you,
         know sunrise
                  to plant seeds,
     The Old Man says,
         continuing on the calendar

         the wind swirls the desert.

From Grist On-Line #1, October, 1993. An original publication.
© copyright 1993 Allen De Loach