Echoes at Twilight

Impression, soleil levant – Claude Monet 1872

I hike beneath a conifer canopy
along a narrow cinder trail
a mosaic of pine needles and sunspots
gently descending an old mountain
that shadows a small fishing village
where the air is a confluence
of fog descending from midair clouds
and briny mist rising from the grey sea

I hear a cacophony of voices
fishermen unloading spider webs
woven from tree fibers and grass
that trap fish, crab, seaweed,
they speak in the thick Gaelic tongue
created by selkies and mermaids
who bask on rock outcroppings
near whistling dolphins
bidding me come hither and play

I yearn to heed their summons
to swim with creatures who breathe water
to forage along reefs and in seaweed forests
to suspend in stillness on a mere whim

I float on the sea under smoky quartz skies
wispy clouds above sway and shift
in reverent homage to their god Loki
master in the art of shape changing

I see twilight heralding the morning sun
I inhale one last breath of air salty and chilled
I bid farewell to creatures fabled in legends
I awaken in fractured shadows of familiar echoes

Here and Now

Saturday neighborhood stroll
amid welcoming birdsong
“Bonjour tout le monde!”

Walking past SUVs ready to chauffer
sleepy children to soccer games
“Reveille toi petit!”

Remembering last night’s movie
of stardust and gentle death
”Salut d’amour.”

Planning tonight’s dinner
Creamy chowder with squid and cod
“Bon apétit!”

Then an incongruous feather
summoned me and whispered
“Oū suis-je?”

And I understood
why we met and replied,
“Ici et maintenant.”