The Unconservatory  


—for Joe Hoffmann
We’ve spent a few nights squeezing out our "day"
in the Sherwood forest of Occidental.
                    —Kirk & Marilyn

1. Still lake waters, the swelling melody of other times
when the renaissance man walked in trembling mist.
On the other side—the twain world—the sidhe
swallowed the butterfly to beget the muse.
He finds her in dreams amid the fiddleneck ferns.
Bluebirds in the air weave arabesques and musical notes
until only the pattern is left; night’s curtain luffs,
is drawn aside, and on the dewy grass, imprints
of a waltz where one already knows the steps.
Cumulative memory tumults from the past.
A dark harmony gradually lightens into a lyric.
Morning meets the tail of night in the hallway.

2. A cleft in the hills, quaking ferns
witness the breathing of fog,
where wild orchids bloom,
where we found the end
of the stream, the edge of night.
Only the birds know
the taut stringing of days,
the melody that lingers deep inside,
taking us down to the valleys,
where we find ourselves again,
strung beside the days of our lives.
There are no accidents.
In each of us, every branch, every leaf
leads to the center of the heart.
The path always widens—
There is room for more, for more.

3. In the thick lemon light,
the dew stirs, learns the rainments of flight.
Over the night hills she comes,
bearing flowers for the sun.
Morning wears a dress of honeyed air
and carries her head high
for she’s proud of the sun’s accompaniment.
Everywhere, the renewal of day and scrubbed sky.
The harmony brightens
like a gentle aubade over the ridge.
The music begins as it ends.
Each step, each breath
brings us closer to the light.

Please note: The following selection is a copyrighted work and may only be downloaded for personal use. It may not be sold, licensed or otherwise commercially used without the express written consent of the copyright holder. This selection is being offered free of charge to the Internet community with the hope that interest and support will be generated in the artists' works.

Download a musical excerpt from Joe: Sunrise at Occidental (mp3 format).

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Updated: January 25, 2001 (KB)

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