Light comes round, shapes hills with shadow,
gilds the faces of tilted peaks, pyramids upcanyon
where gods must live to stay clear of the clatter –

ridge after ridge afire upon the green this side of sky
like a loose deck at dawn, glimpses of kings, queens
and knaves in the deal. O’ how my father cringed

with my selected verse, one-sided, loose leaves
bound under a clear plastic cover in limited editions
published by Xerox in the 60s – that first trip

and stumble into small press, Everyman’s magic
for a dime-a-copy. I liked the look, but his reviews,
couched and pillowed between long breaths,

did not detour nor inspire me, though troubled him
as perhaps it should have in those days of Republicans
and young men in a long jungle war. Say good-bye

to the Draft, once the sword, become the disambiguation
of governments, we have evolved to mercenaries
and drones, there are no kids to mow our lawns –

clean-cut, grown-ups now, running for offices.
He would be happy with my pastoral imagery,
lift an eye, grin a little at the pantheistic,

yet remembering when he drug me out of bed,
by the toe, to show me the Kaweah steaming
among cottonwoods, a colored mist rising.

                                                                for David Wilke

2 responses to “THIS SIDE OF SKY

  1. This is a great blend of natural mysticism and social criticism. Again, great imagery.


  2. Thanks Ian, hard to shake the ‘political/social’ loose from the natural world as I age, from a framework that will outlast us. As Dave & I have often discussed, a renewal of the Draft would initiate considerably more opposition to US military engagements in foreign countries, and re-establish the voice of public sentiment, not unlike the 60s, that would certainly alter US foreign policy. But we have changed with prosperity, evolved as culture with very little hands-on experience, especially our youth, who are, and who will be exclusively, running the show and making that policy. In an arena of polls, there is no consistent philosophy, no long term plan, and no comprehension that we must adapt to and adopt the rules of nature if we are to survive.


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