For over thirty years five of my closest friends from my teaching days at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino have gathered for lunch at our house in the summer. This year one of our group, Mary Lou Taylor, a talented poet, honored us with a poem which I used in the invitation.
Mary Lou helped found the Poetry Center San Jose and has published several books. I recently discovered her website and would love to share her poem. For those of you have been here, you know she has captured it perfectly.
The last house on an unpaved road
looks over the mountain top,
a fire road to the reservoir,
the sharp drop of a ridge on the left,
greenery on the right. Goodbye
to good friends in late afternoon, goodbye
to two deer and the Steller’s jays harsh calls.
No time to ponder recent talk of poetry,
of haiku and lyric, of classic poems
reinvented, of Pound, Hicok, Bly.
The car makes turn after turn high
above the village. In the canyon below
a glimpse of vineyards.
Just beyond the mountain peak
the ocean, flat and silver.
Redwood branches droop. Oak leaves
touch across the road. Madrone, saffron
trunks bright against the green. Sword fern
fastened to banks sprinkled with fall red
of poison oak and brown of bark.
Passing the Scout camp, the oil
of eucalyptus trees on the wind.
A breeze changes shadows.
Sun’s shades of light and dark.
One white butterfly startles.
An orange truck on monster wheels
its grill a jailhouse door
side by side with a small brown truck
the size of Bishop’s moose.
Hazard lights blink white sparkle-glitter.
Both vehicles block the road. Halfway down
the long, winding road to town
no way to move, time at last
to dream and write,
more passenger than driver.