There is sunlight
and that is
the meaning.
Called by birdsong,
Scorpio coils behind the western ridge.
Thick-tongued oaks and, scarlet-lipped,
the laurel sumac
rise above peers
to choir dawn down my closed eyes.
Yes, that is the meaning.
The hillsides transform.
Colors freed one by one
from the veering sun
open and close
on the hinging leaves,
on a caress of air
each separate child of that green
rainbow of chaparral.
Surely, that is the meaning.
The hills are not isolated
under this canvass of light
which elects no one hue
for the incarnations
entrusted to my path
among the pied lichens and rock.
That, too, must be the meaning.
Beyond error,
this alloy of radiance
and splintered star,
the sun lies
in the orange wings of the wasp
tugging at the paralyzed
bulk of the spider,
hauling it burrow down
into the belly-black womb
where there is an illumination
and beauty
more terrifying than any pure element
could ever realize.
And that is the meaning.

© 1997 Jess Morton