I’ve listened so long for you
the blood-beat of my breaking tolls hollow
matins in the false god’s voice, a lie
of life after death,
nothing more than synthetic hope phoenixed
from my own dumb chorus.
You once descried how city noise disturbed you,
how the rough-banged deliveries and taxi hustle,
the pedestrian clash, the futile sirens,
the neon katzenjammer
stilled your better voice and you fled here
where choirs of pine and fir muster
in Bear Valley’s yellow grass.
If only you could see this fall,
as the sun scatters a million-diamond lightbow
in the white frost of Ayer’s Meadow—
but this dew-shatter is glistened shards clashing.
Wind-spiders silver-skein aeolian chants
that strum my face and hiss away—
detuned, detached, discordant.
Dayrise violins the creep of fog
strung above creek-water piccoloed with drifted
arguments of canvasbacks and goldeneyes.
Yet, over all this lambent clamor
nothing shouts so loud as your vanished voice.
for A.B. Spreckels III