'At the Foothills of the Mountains' and other poems

'At the Foothills of the Mountains' and other poems

Living in a country surrounded by four sides of difference, a poet reports on the universal at her feet.

In the foothills . . . "French kisses in three different languages." [o]

AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN

Wild/ daisies spread out on hills /wild/ our bodies blooming in bed /wild/ columbine tangled at my feet /wild/ how you chased me across that land /wild/ cold May wind /wild/ all those horrible things that I've said /wild/ black squirrel leaping next to me through the trees /wild/ my heart every time you arrive /wild/ the wagging of the branches /wild/ French kisses in three different languages /wild/ fortress of mountains /wild/ from you I can never hide /wild/ swimming in that clear lake /wild/ illness no one can see /wild/ all those seeds that we planted in black soil /wild/ children we've lost /wild/ altitudes we've scaled /wild/ fights that we've fought /wild/ trails through the forest /wild/ at each other’s side /wild/ at the foot of the mountain.

 

Bees on homefront. [o]

HOLY

When we step outside together
congregations of bees

kneel on the heads of daisies
their prayers deafening
if only we could give thanks so freely

never mind that our practice
differs; in the sunlight, our sins
tears of sweat, wiped away.

We pause, baptised by sky,
our fingers, rooted in one another’s
trees branches rise extolling hallelujah!

 

 

 

WHALE WATCHING WITHOUT A TELEPHOTO LENS*

Giants orbit like lonely planets in outer space,

theirs is a galaxy, swilled in salt and plankton —

Our origins began in the same place.

They break the skin between our universe
trying to find a way to converse.

Giants orbit like lonely planets in outer space,

covered in constellations of barnacles charting their distance,
a navigation of years, of all their experience —

Our origins began in the same place.

Representatives sent from a continuum not truly known
it’s being destroyed and not by their own.

Giants orbit like lonely planets in outer space,

a mother and calf surface the waves to offer a welcome,
or is it not a plea to assist with an existential problem?

Our origins began in the same place.

Our boat like a satellite cuts through their world
misreading their signals about the destruction we’ve unfurled.

Giants orbit like lonely planets in outer space,
Our origins began in the same place.

* A villanelle poem, inspired by a news report where a mother
whale presented her calf to a boat full of whale watchers
.

 

Photo by Garfield Smith.

REFLECTION

What lies we see      What, be?
Based on public image      imagine
Stories filtered      fake
Cropping out sorrow,      happiness
If we could return to our origins.      forgotten.
What makes us human?      Conscience,
What if we could access that place      outside
together?      ourselves
Unafraid of deeper instincts      wild,
Embracing our Earth’s      nature
call for help,      healing
finally living in truth.      in peace.

 

 

TAK ERZINGER is an American/Swiss poet and artist with a Latino background. Her debut poetry collection, Found: Between the Trees, is a chronicle about a life interrupted by mental illness. Her poetry has been published by The Curlew, The Cirrus Poetry Review, The Beautiful Space Journal, The Mojave He[art] Review, The Origami Poems Project and The Rising Phoenix Review. Last year she began a walking pilgrimage on the St. Jacob’s Way through Switzerland. She lives in a valley there.

 

 

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