Grandfather would instill himself long hours in the whining rocker
Giving thought absently to the wind’s manipulations,
Considering her forward way with his cigarette smoke.
He would judge the uneasy melancholy of unfinished summer,
‘Visioning himself king on the throne of nature
With the great Douglas Firs girt in green, thickly bowing
Low to him over the fern beds in stormy supplication.
He would ‘vision a lover he was of yet to make acquaintance;
Mostly perceiving her mouth, watching her tongue gather the sunset
Then diffuse it back in words, as an opal reflects in colors:
Various and unsullied. Words she gave had a way,
And their way tugged his soul. They were lustrous.
So at dusk in the still of time, yet with night quickening,
He would ease the chair to the rhythm of their manifestation;
He later related his thoughts on those evenings before his death,
How life took shape before his mind’s eye as a spectrum,
Which he claimed defined the peculiarity of existence.
It spanned red to violet in seven decades, black at both ends:
The dark where it sprang from and the end light so bright
His eyes believed it to be dark again, for which I told him
You’re a damn fool.
But that was the nature of his mind;
To negotiate for life with pictures and thought games.
When the sun had gone completely, he slept.
His left hand dangled down to the dusty porch
Where the hand’s index fingertip brushed it.
Each night it felt the same spot, stained it with oil,
Which he joked was his mark on the world.