Instruments of revolution | Manhattan, New York, NY | City Arts News
Varvara Stepanova composed her “Figure” from a fanciful mix of primary colors and simple geometries. Photo: Adel Gorgy
HIKING WITH PETER
for Peter Thabit Jones, September 17, 2016
Boot-shod feet, born and bred south coast of Wales
felt the pulse of Big Sur’s thumping shore,
tapped its rhythms into poems,
then leaped, with the help of an airplane,
California to Colorado, where I met him
and was glad he was properly shod
to wind with me up among the sandstone fins
south side of Mt. Sanitas,
hiked and jogged by hundreds,
but sure to be people-free I promised Peter
on our descent north, then west, south,
and east from the summit.
Hour-long uphill huff and puff
failed to deflate our lungs,
left in fact whole hallways and corridors
of oxygen-filled enthusiasm
to talk poetry halfway from A to Z,
saving the other half for the less steep
meander back down.
Peter could pick up from where he left
the Pacific sprawled below his hillside
hermitage at Big Sur by viewing
flat Boulder suckling its own shoreline
steep off Sanitas a thousand feet below our feet.
Peter clicked his camera at whatever wonder
first flew into his eye, a young women clicked us
shaking hands by the mountain’s summit pole,
and shy deer on the way down
ambled in and out of focus,
as poets and the ways of poetry
filled our talk, mixed with the scent
of ponderosa pines, the slope of hillsides,
the grass of meadows, and a certain log
we had to find to find a certain way down
the rest of the world no longer knows.
Fine friendly trail companion,
this man Peter, for whom poetry
ties and unties his boot laces
talks to him in his sleep, sometimes
shakes him awake, and showed him yesterday
through his boot soles how to step
from Boulder’s young pink sandstone
to its old grey granite in whatever dance
between the two will add
an audible Colorado ripple
to each new poem
rising up inside him.
Alex Drummond America
-Credit : Cross-Cultural Communications Art & Poetry Series Broadsides # 78
CROSSES AND GRAVESTONES BREAK MY VIEW
Crosses and gravestones break my view.
To the left, I see you, bending
To arrange a jar of flowers;
The winter sky dulls your presence:
Charcoal figure, Van Gogh peasant.
Now kneeling, you recall a prayer.
My lack of Welsh locks out the sense;
But the grammar of sobs I know.
No priest, no poet, no actor
Could vinegar my wound like you.
You stand and gather up your things;
Then blackly walk the narrow path.
Your grief is deep – and so is mine;
Yet your strange prayer suggests that faith
Does visit your dark house of hurt.
I stare down at my child son’s grave;
I say no words to cross or stone,
As my clenched hands hold crumbs of dirt.
Published in VISITORS by Peter Thabit Jones, Seren Books (1986)