The Silk Road organic serenity

is in the kitchen on a counter in its tin.

In what sense does my making and drinking

tea make it what it says it is, or for that matter

how does my watching make chores

grow like grass? The lawn is even

where I mowed yesterday. No compost there.


In the sunlight, a swarm of bugs jives

Saturday night at the Crystal Palace

to no purpose I can see, not like the mason

soft shoeing a delicate six step all over

the sexual organs of the fragrant lavender.

Flagrant without much to say.


Most of the vegetables are still asleep

after a pleasant drenching in the irrigated dark.

A single dead dogwood leaf pirouettes

into the soft bow of movement without sound.

Maybe a chore is being born. In the wisdom

of their great thunder, early travelers

fly eastward defining silence by their going

like an intimate humming I turn to see

before the hummingbird dashes away.


On the dead branch of a mac, a clematis finds

somewhere to grow. That's why we don't sever it,

that and the feng shui wabe sabi of the old tree.

Every year the upstarts are pruned and the scant

falls are put into compost with work I like. The sun

I was going to say allows but actually insists

on shorts. I disrobe into almost entirely only me.

To the buzzing beside my ear I don't have to explain

not the orifice of engendering more than to the house-

fly on my hand that probes and tickles as it walks

feeling for a rotten place to lay eggs that will hatch

into maggots do I need to say not dead yet.


That impulse to shoo or swat stays away

as if there were nothing not to love out here.

Not the rough rock wall built by guesswork

straining to put the heavy on top where it is

sure to fall, not the yellow jacket drinking curiosity

at the sweet black lip of my coffee mug –

four times I have been stung molesting

their congress in the compost bin – not the odd

helicopter beating eggs or the persistent jets

or the irregular falling up and down hill to UBC.


I heard squeals that sounded like the joy of a bug

in pollen, the stiff glee of a gate opening, fabric

settling into my weight on a cheap fold out chair,

early peeps that would become laughter by 9 a.m..

and for no reason fathomable by me, all of these

were the furthest thing from bother like the tin

of serenity someone gave us as a gift that had

gone missing and therefore forgotten, fallen

out of sight on the bottom of a much used drawer.