Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser, spotted salamander egg masses
A white-tailed buck visited pond-edge,
the light of Jupiter and new moon
dancing upon his back like giddy nymphs
at the first ball of Spring.
It was the willow sapling who told me
of his visit, the story emerging into the lines
of my palm as I ran my hand over the long,
rough, tawny wounds spanning two feet
of its narrow spine:
A rubbing post for velvet.
Time and temperature and penetrating rains
have beckoned forth spotted salamanders.
Thick as a thumb, jet black, and each marked
with a constellation like none-other,
they have crawled from their subterranean haunts
into what we call the world.
I know of this from the still-chilled waters
of the vernal pool, a receptive womb
in which opaque globular egg masses float
amongst the decaying legs of
last season’s cattails:
Freshwater pearls encasing the bounty.
Someone trained in the arts of deep allurement,
put out a line and a bunch of foolish
catfish took the bait.
He filleted them and, for reasons I cannot fathom,
drove the whiskered heads high into the mountains
where he pitched them aside in a quiet holler,
their eyes still plump with surprise.
Turkey vultures with bad breath tattled on him,
launching their heavy bodies from
leafy ground to barren tree when
disturbed by the words:
“What the heck?!”
A woman sat on a rock with a purring marmalade cat,
content, watching the breeze play finger games
in his mistress’ long silvery hair.
She did nothing more apparent
than write a poem.
You can see for yourself:
Everywhere there are stories being told
to eyes willing to listen.
(c) 2012-2013/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life" (www.hiraethpress.com)