The sun isn’t up yet.
She is the last sparkle in a flat, dirty white expanse of infinite space.
I listen for the sounds of nature drowned this morning
by multiple machinery noises.
Far away in the harbor boats come home.
The mermaid watches.
A faint orange stripes the horizon barely visible through the trees.
Dew slicks the flagstone and dusts the oleanders.
Dark thoughts lie in black recesses between dirt and walls in the shadows.
A magpie flies too close to me, sweeps, then banks on a wing
and lands facing east, high in the peppertree.
The sun rises in copper colors, pins an orange medal on the bird’s chest
and drips red gold on feathered leaves.
I begin to hear shy chirps bounce about,
Then cackles and screams of gulls far in the distance…
It appears that my garden and the pool
are in a no fly zone this morning.
Are dark thoughts scaring birds away?
Or is it something else, invisible, creeping
along roof tiles and slowly melting
into the air like the fog that I now see in sunlight below?
It coats the ravine, crawls in from the harbor.
A clinging grey pall is swallowing the valley…
Or perhaps the garden has become sterile,
bare of tasty bits, stripped of delights
and tiny treasures now that the sun shines elsewhere.
I shiver somber and silent in sheltered shade.
Trees, walls, roofs, mountains,
The whole world crowd out the light!
Small and very busy birds in grey nun’s clothing fly
then hop up and down in the neighbors’ sun.
Haze drifts; the Med lies flat underneath it, nearly motionless.
“Sometimes” she says “one just has to sit still and wait.
Sometimes that’s the only thing to do.”
A chaffinch agrees as he darts off the golden tree
and dives for something behind the fence.
A sparrow moves to the bare wall and watches.
I smell it now, weighing down the silence:
Acrid white smoke follows a sunlit path up the alley.
But in a wink, the sideways sun,
the almost winter sun, clears a branch,
overcomes a roof and shines on me,
warms my cold fingers and pushes the smog away.
From the roof tiles above, a dialog starts.
No, it is a duet in thrills and pauses.
The bougainvillea shows off in purple
and gets some attention from hoverflies
and noisy mumbling eager bees.
Blue sky watches over the mountain.
The sun lights up patches of grass
as the cedar drips away the night’s dreams.
A jay flies and reaches the neighbor’s date palm.
In between two bites he cracks wise
“Some. times. you. just. gotta.wait.”
Patience was never my strong suit I tell him
as I blink and hum in the sunshine.