G.A. Saindon lives on five acres, with lots of trees, chickens, geese, a pond with fish and plenty of weeds, owls, and sundry creatures everyone wants to get rid of. His wife of 41 years, his seven children, their few spouses and all eight of his grandchildren are his delight. He’s been blessed.
All of Us Await a New Season
Cool amber shine the evening snows at rest;
Redwing blackbirds north and northwest of me
Bobbing on their reeds, quite impossibly
Weightless as those thoughts that with joy are blessed.
A pair of sandhill cranes alights so close
I hear them mumble; idly nodding low
Through Giacometti shadows and thin snow,
Gleaning unsprouted corn, that’s autumn’s ghost.
These birds and I remark on Spring’s delay,
Lingering snow, hurried daylight, and more––
My yearnings like lolling blackbirds sway
In a yellow air pierced by Sandhill lore:
Calm cranes my patience counsel. Then to pray,
Trust, that I can soon sing from every pore.
Nothing shows above beyond a rude blue,
an old sun and cottonwoods fluttering,
hurling the shower of down, seed-bearing
pale parachutes assaulting everything.
Wherever they light is sere, luckless brown.
Here my tongue and reddened eyes alone
aware, moist, alive. But down to the bone
this land sobs for water. I hear it groan:
floods of deep, bright rain,
a deluge for Noah and his great boat
shivering with livestock…
just enough to sail the Ark or wash
us all to sea atop our useful cars:
wet weather, amphibian’s delight, stars
snuffed out in soggy mist, trees as ships’ spars
asail in liquid air, birds breast-stroking,
warped timbers, dogs as sleek as seals, barking,
fish wriggling on patios, buoys marking
crosswalks, and on the ramps some whales parking.
For this and that and rain I pine, again
watching clouds scurry along the ledges
of a dropless sky as memory dredges
up dry scenes, and dreams approach the edges
where this wicked reality pushes
back hard and hot. Yet, I must tilt my head
up with eyes the only pools, edged in red
to scan for nascent rain, and smile instead.
Venus of the Corn Stubble
December morning stars,
Hidden by a sun unseen
But heaving his shoulders.
Frozen birds, frozen tracks greet
The farmer, his tractor and the great
Weight of wet, warm manure
Steaming and twirling through the frozen air,
Blessing the soil, dressing the field.
A thick, sultry plume from the wagon
Rises voluptuous and tall toward a planet
Single in the East, dawn’s beauty mark.
She can only turn her head
So far before she’ll lose her balance
And her constellation,
So Venus grits her teeth, grimaces –
The swollen, tart mist reaches her
Not to be ignored –
“How do you like my moves, sister?”
Walking New Snow with My Grandson
It can’t matter
on a day so bright
and beckoning for tracks:
his parents left him
We visit the chickens,
the cats, errant birds
in branches askew
and naked this February.
His gloves are my last year’s,
useless, but cover
his hands to forestall chilling.
He’ll have more water
in his shoes than we
can slosh in our meandering.
His tracks are small,
close and he’s nearly
weightless as the shallow
before me. The child
is farther than the man
for awhile, then he comes
tramping and splashing
back at me, head down,
watching the snow scatter.
Chickens unafraid of snow
make tracks toward us;
the child squeals in fear
(they are just 3 inches shorter
than he is) or delight
(the snowball he made
hits its mark).
Cats sit idle, wary of the boy,
who wants to squeeze and squeeze
them. Half a dozen chickadees
explode raucously scolding the one
cat we missed padding
near the tree they contend
is theirs. The boy smiles
forward, sure he’s doing
what comes naturally.
This is joy without frills,
without reason, without
call, and careless.
Well After Sundown
I deeply wish it were otherwise…
active under the late October skies
are my lilacs and willows:
in this darkness one follows
the tree line athwart a sky pitch
and solid where the forest, which
primps close by, presents a veil parting
upon my willows bending, starting
to move, to uproot and wander
the lawn, meeting the lilacs under
October’s cooling stars, for what,
I don’t know. Let’s just say that
I’ve unsettled myself, and as well
would see a ghost, a stuttering skull,
as find the lilacs sprightly tiptoeing
to meet a pair of willows going
God knows where. How lilacs talk
to willows – I shudder and balk
at pondering such improbable scenes:
the willows’ voice like echoes in a dream;
the lilacs’ like a spring snowfall coolly
whispering, I suppose; though I fully
expect that this episode will be
unremembered when my wits revisit me.