Sun Spins Down but the Blue Jay Flies

byDuane Niatum
Somewhere among the river of leaves,

a web frost of the moment,
behind the cloud playing solitaire
with the tips of my fingers,
a feeling holds a compass,
its guide to earth and guardian.

The mountain I call grandfather
takes my breath and gives it back
on each of the seven branches of its trail.
I learn to travel by its song
since its path has made my life.

Crossing one ravine to the next,
my hunger for story eases.
Skykeeper passes full circle
through its winter phase and I
am almost jealous, not quite

at the turning point, guest
of beargrass, yellow crocus and worm.
The sun goes down but the blue jay flies.
Somewhere on a branch of this trail
my heart will find the sky hut,
a voice as calm as snow or thunder.

Previously unpublished, Seattle and Tacoma, November, 1996, revised 1/98.
© 1996, 1998 Duane Niatum

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