death in the meadow|
intimated a week before now the message scored in my morning body at the edge of the bed am I ready then to die yes journey to northwest Sierra Butte Meadows wait without waiting breathe green mountain moments night a Tibetan lama in red robes and light wakes me in the cabin loft a silent vision of joy and imminence precisely under sun next day by the creek feet in deep grass I sink into the white see the meadow through white veils I sink make it to a fallen pine can't sit lie on my back arms fall out to sides and hang in summer air life in the body wanes suddenly I know this is the death give inside white racing white warp speed white focus hold focus light light light surrender light consumed light energy of being light no one light how long suspended sky time how long the white how long the lifeless body lying no I only is is (then first) hearing water upstream down down down closer closer louder louder (second) body molecules slow resurface of feeling wake yet no movement (last) eyes slowly open to straight up blue sky bright mid the circle of pines blue green radiance a finger moves hand the other slowly slowly my body on the log the log take time no hurry what is it all but light in form in color (but light) oh here again nothing different nothing the same all light light I sit up slowly walk through afternoon meadow back to the tiny cabin grass how soft under bare feet cool each step light everywhere how alive it all is alive
© 1998 Leslye Layne Russell
This poem was published in the August 1998
issue of Poetry Now.