Still crossing over
from the old year,
I hear owls lamenting in the pines.
Their songs become songs of experience
I half forgotten but need to re-own, memories
embered in a sky of morning stars.
I know some things
cannot be swept out, dispersed by the wind
along the mountain’s threshold. They must remain,
seen in the different light of a new day
and year. And beyond the dirge of night birds
in the desert trees, branches having shed
their tarnished needles while keeping pine
cones that hang like shuttered lamps with no flame —
there is another bird
circling the courtyard. A California gull
carrying on his grey wings,
the spark of salt, the clean stir
of breath and water.