Always the Land and German Winter

by Cesar Love

Always the Land

When the storms end, he is quiet to all but the deaf

Many hear the whispers of streams, the mumbles of rivers
But below the threshold of a lapping pond
There are sounds as soft as a tadpole’s heartbeat

At volumes quieter than grass
The land delivers a wordless sermon
You are free to leave before the end, for the sermon has no end

Can you bear the spastic stillness?
If you can listen for ten minutes, you are free to ask a question.
If you can listen for an hour, you can ask for anything you need.

Ask, what about your bees?
The trellis on your porch, broken by the eight-foot weeds
It’s painted and repaired, ready for the blossoms
To greet the sun and moon, ready for the blossoms
To welcome back the bees.
Listen to the honey spinning into gold

Ask, what about the blackout?
Remember the fireflies you caught so long ago?
You hid them in a basement jar.
Realize you’re one of them.
Hands unlock the lid, hands let all of you free.
Listen to the land echoing your glow

German Winter

The months of small afternoons.
When days withdraw
Before children are home
And streetlamps
Labor the boggy hours

It is a weather without recess.
The gravity of snow
Upon coats and shoes
The roof tiles
Braving an adamant rain

It is a season for interiors.
The trusted sidewalk
To the cafés and pubs
The perennial scarf
For the pathway home

It is the season of stovewood.
A deepsome fire
Mulls the wine
Warm candles consent
The embrace of the eyes


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César Love is a resident of San Francisco’s Mission District and an editor of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. His book of poems While Bees Sleep was published by CC. Marimbo Press. He is on the faculty of the University of the Commons.

This year César Love created a bridge between the poets of Mérida and the poets of the San Francisco Bay Area, sharing their poems at each others open mics. He brought to San Francisco the work of Mérida poets Itzel Gallegos, Fernando de la Cruz, Jonathan Harrington, Cher Bibler, and Feliciano Chan. In Mérida, he read the work of Bay Area poets Gerardo Pacheco, Dan Brady, Alejandro Murguía, Jeanne Lupton, and others.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Artist: Jane Gilday

O Blessed Gaze

Acrylic on panel


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