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.


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