Detail, Garden of Earthly Delights, Heironymus Bosch
A Spring Waltz in Mockingbird Time
Like a duotone calliope
two mockingbirds trade trill and aria,
make call and response
as I stroll past their bully pulpits
in the redbud, and magnolia.
I am shrived by these savonarolas
of my winter medicis, enfeoffed
with the sole reign
of this kingdom of beholding,
a rainy day in late March
as no other monarchs are afoot
and the Pope is asleep
dreaming of bathing
with Our Lady in a marble sarcophagus.
The mockingbirds sing out lauds and matins,
repeating the gossip
of the entire planet as it mutters to itself
and no sound is ever lost.
Listen, just hark those heralds:
Pontius Pilate still asks “What is truth?”
and the dinosaurs are singing.
The magnolias bloom
just to listen to Basho’s brush
draw haikus on the rain.
The holy mimics tell all:
water dripping from stalactite to stalagmite
in a deep cavern, war cries
in front of Troy, the cheeping
of tree frogs in Amazonia,
the deep thrum elephants speak into the earth.
Listening can lift you
from where you stand.
In the quiet palaver of cold small rain
I am baptised a saint of the earth
called to saunter,
called like a crane to begin
the season’s migration,
aligned to the axis mundi
like a magnetized needle afloat on a cork.
faring for Cipango,
I know I can get there from here.