I have to work this weekend, which is most unfortunate, as my favorite poet will be winging back to the Continent Monday morning. Still, it was a great gift to have him home for the holidays, and we’ll still have a little time together before he departs. I haven’t had any success in coaxing more verse out of him during his brief sojourn here, so you’ll have to be satisfied with the following meditation.
Meditation Lesson in the Pays d’Oc
I have closed my eyes to the blue hills
across the rock-bound vineyards
through a screen of olive trees
over hedges of rosemary and lavender,
paying attention to my breath.
Fragrance, memory, birdsong,
the clamor of cicadas – I notice these,
then return my attention to my breath.
The slow caress of the sun
moves over my face just as it moves over the vines,
ripening grapes into the blood of stones.
Paying attention only to my breath,
I inhale something big and alive, and I panic!
Instead of dying, I cough up a butterfly,
In disbelief watch it
dry its wings in the sun then rejoin the iridescent cloud
floating on the scent of lavender.
Pay atention to your breath, telling you
this world is a place full of trapdoors
hinged smoothly as a lepidopteran wing.
Patrick L. Clary