Wednesday Poem

Age Sixty-nine

I keep waiting without knowing
what I'm waiting for.
I saw the setting moon at dawn
roll over the mountain
and perhaps into the dragon's mouth
until tomorrow evening.

There is this circle I walk
that I have learned to love.
I hope one day to be a spiral
but to the birds I'm a circle.

A thousand Spaniards died looking
for gold in a swamp when it was
in the mountains in clear sight beyond.

Here, though, on local earth my heart
is at rest as a groundling, letting
my mind take flight as it will,
no longer waiting for good or bad news.

Often, lately, the night is a cold maw
and stars the scattered white teeth of the gods,
which spare none of us. At dawn I have birds,
clearly divine messengers that I don't understand
yet day by day feel the grace of their intentions.

by Jim Harrison

from In Search of Small Gods;
Copper Canyon Press