(By Vern Crawford, November, 2013.)

 

Memories are rather like the things they never were.

People, places, colors, scents–all were similar to our memories.

For an instant or a day these memories persist,

Even offering recollections of distant decades past.

But what is it that preserves our memories, saves them at all?

Though they are never perfect, yet not wholly false,

What remains that is subject to our recall?

Yes, memories are rather like the things they never were:

Mirror/mimics of vanished nows.  They also grant us time.

(By Vern Crawford, October, 2013, edited March, 2018.)

 

This silky milkweed fluff,

With a tiny puff of air,

Becomes a weightless drifter:

It softly lofts above my hand.

 

Heeding Autumn’s cooler nights and frost,

We plush ourselves in fleece,

Our arms and backs and bellies

Softer now to tender, touchy fingers.

 

Quilted bathroom tissues

(The expensive ones at least)

Caress us, on tender eyelids and warm cheeks,

And kindly smooth the body clean.

 

I love my well-used feather pillow;

Its down receives my heavy head,

Cupping, cuddling, yielding,

Submerging me in soft sleep.

 

Loved ones’ knowing touch,

Plus caring words–in times of pain–

Can heal and comfort many hurts,

So very, very, very soft:  cumuli of love.

(By Vern Crawford, September, 2013)

 

This callosal contest

Of strength and skill

(Or maybe simply single-mindedness)

Appears, from a higher perch, to be a tug-of-war.

 

The Left Team pulls against the Right

(Or is it the New against the Old?),

A Nerdy Team connected by a fibrous cord

To the other bunch, a Rowdy Team.

 

Back and forth the contestants go,

One side’s heels digging into turf,

The other’s voices bellowing need or greed,

Yet neither one willing to concede.

 

Oh, I know, sometimes they do time-out:

One team may get distracted–

Lusting after cheerleaders–

While the other strategizes heedless in a huddle.

 

Even though they claim to be separate teams,

Left and Right, New or Old,

Both sides do appear–from a higher perch–

As home teams of just this one Arena.

(By Vern Crawford, September, 2013)

 

There are only three ways to go from here:

Go back; Stop; or Move On.

Yet they say I really can’t Go Back.

And I’ve tried Stopping, only to regret it.

So, how many choices do I have left?

Hmm:  Three, minus one, minus one…

Higher math strongly suggests Moving On.

(by Vern Crawford, November, 2013)

 

May the stars inspire you.

May the moon thrill you.

May your legs beg to go.

May your arms long for work.

May your eyes find loveliness in common things.

May your home place be comely.

May the sea and surf impress you.

May birdsong lift your heart.

May bright blossoms cheer and delight you.

May scent of lavender, mint, and rose surround you.

May the soft fog envelope you.

May warm rains refresh and cleanse you.

May sudden thunder awe you.

May the laughter of children lift you.

May the green forest comfort and console you.

May good friends enrich your days.

May you gain insight and clarity.

May you find meaning and duty.

May you forgive all grievances.

May you give and receive affection.

May you respect animals.

May these and many other blessings nourish your life.

(By Vern Crawford, July 2015)

Plumes and foams of montane greenery

Spray upward from these undulating soil-seas

And bursting through both sea and spray

The humps of broad-backed granitic whales,

Dappled over with crusty lichens and crystal barnacles:

Great granitic whales rolling up from hidden depths.

(By Vern Crawford, June 2014)

 

Where, exactly, does the Inner tip over

To the Outer and become that place?

 

Where do the Other Worlds in me

Meet and merge with This World?

 

How, exactly, do our Actions arise

From our Passive Perceptions?

 

Is any one place truly continuous

With the next-by place or space?

 

How, exactly, goes the flow, This into That?

What lies obscured within that linking zone of ambiguity?

 

Yes, what lies obscured there:  A blank and unknown bridge?

A blindspot, simply?  Or a true and empty gap?

 

Does it matter that I might learn these things?

Would I love you more, or less, if I knew?

 

Were ever I to learn the where and how of this,

Would I seek to become lord of the world?

 

Or am I simply a wondering, curious person,

One whose Intellection yearns to learn?

(Poem by Vern Crawford, written in September 2013)

 

We hiked up near the top of the world,

Isaac and I.

Botanized along the dusty way–

Green leaves and dry bark and sun-fried flowers.

We climbed up Hobart’s stony slopes

And relaxed on ledgy rocks up near the sky.

 

He’s somewhat younger than I, I am rather older,

Isaac and I.

We were full of questions, seeking understanding:

What’s this?  Why is that?  I rather do feel…

We hiked up Hobart’s stony trail

To share the views and the views we share.

 

He’ll outlive me, perhaps already has,

Isaac and I.

But through him I will linger extra seasons

For I shared a bit of my knowledge and osmosized a bit of calm,

Up there, near the sky, on Hobart Bluff.

And isn’t that what life is for: botany, sky, and care?

 

Poem by Vern Crawford, written in Summer, 2015

 

Only one reality is.  It is “mine”.

It is part Inactual, part Actual.

The Inactual part includes you.

(Not your body, Silly!  I mean your Mental Realm:

Your Heart and Mind, as these are known to me). . .

 

–I had wanted to write something

Profound in this poem,

Something that might change history,

Something that every living soul could use.

 

–But instead, an ant is tickling inside

My left pant leg, I can’t shake it out.

And persistent biting flies are

Loving my face way too much.

 

So:  History and grand acclaim will simply have to wait. . .

Poem Written in November, 2013
By Vern Crawford

Thick green moss, plush and soft,
Drapes down and over the Gas Line Boulders:
Mossy coats, surprising here in Southern Oregon–
Not a mossy land, not a rainy land.

The Gas Line Boulders loom large, some small,
Each composed of coarse volcanic tuff, Miocene:
Crudely split and tilted slabs, or solid monoliths,
Mossy hulks trailing out as two vague rows, hidden by the woods.

I park my car. I walk up along the Gas Line hill,
Then amble out among gold and russet autumn oaks–
A thousand boles of pewter bark–and lonely pines and firs.
I pause to greet the Gas Line Boulders. I press upon their mossy coats.

Boulders’ presence. Boulders’ bulk. Boulders’ firmness. Boulders’ roughness.
Semi-sunken into earth, some stand tall, some lie prone,
Some are congregated, some remain aloof, alone,
All of them muttering complaints about my intrusion.

And I, catching intimations of Old World megaliths,
Wander among these Stony People, this lurking lithic tribe
Secluded here by oak woods and lonely pines and firs.
I trespass their place of power, their precinct of autumn awe.

But I do not stay. The boulders would not have me, anyway,
Preoccupied as they are with gathering autumn leaves, russet, gold,
With storing up the sallow solar fire, with tucking close their mossy coats.
I leave. And they turn back to being the best boulders they know how to be.