Monterey poet, Laura Bayless, signed up for my summer workshop and to confirm her attendance sent not only a check but the poem below. Undoubtedly better than money. Look what she does! Notice how Laura celebrates the details of the common world with such uncommon language. I love “tangle of supple willow spurs” and “purple-white pagodas.” Then there’s just the word “greensward” alone! How can you stay inside once you read this poem? Tie your laces and get outside to celebrate your miraculous common world. Take that notebook and joy down the beautiful details surrounding you! Thank you Laura Bayless!
take me to the greensward, the woodland dale
beyond the tangle of supple willow spurs
where a footbridge crosses the river
that mirrors a few bleached yarn clouds.
Tag along to where tiny purple-white
pagodas crop up among late spring grasses.
Let me get deliriously lost in a secret ravine
where fiesta flowers cling to my legs,
so I can gather woodmint for tea,
let the hairy fringe pod keep its secrets.
I want to tread trails deer forge through
underbrush that crowds the oak forest
and talk with the fractured scarecrow
husk of an old pine stump.
Allow me time to linger beside owls clover
and lime-green tresses of maidenhair fern,
admire saffron sunkissed lichen on a fallen log,
follow a wandering cabbage white butterfly.
Then plant me where the buckeye torches
circulate their vanilla scent in May, and
cast off their chestnut-colored spheres in fall
onto the backyard fringe of a sunlit meadow.