The Eclipse of the Moon Viewed over the Cariboo Plateau

A poem


Birds walk low to the ground among the stalks of the wheat.

They are not afraid. It is late summer. No one is afraid.


In their dreams the men and women stand in the night

on the peaks of their houses with their children between them


and stare up into the cold clear current where the earth

eats the moon. A pale wind combs their hair.


At the edge where it touches the hills with its hands

and breath and yellow feet the sky is never dark.


Now I realize how far we are from eternity.

We step slowly through it.


A loon rises before the beginning of the world.

The wind blows furiously yet the trees do not catch it at all.


It is good that the grass splashes with rain: the key of a piano

pressed lightly down into shadow and springing back.


I have dressed in my old coat of grass. I am fire.

I am fire. I have dressed in my old coat of grass.