Earth Day 2017

I remember Earth.
To step outside on a summer evening,
listening to the voice of the one you loved,
was almost more than we could bear. 

But we could not make it last.
We asked too much of her,
and everything she asked
of us we waved away.

One last regret? That as she
passes, all our memories go with her.

Frank Beck
April 22, 2015

A walking song

Can I make my way into the distance?
Help me find the road I'm on.
I've had enough surrender and persistence.
Just one step, and I'm gone.

The Sun Lifts the Branches

The sun lifts the branches of the elm trees
into the flock of perched sparrows.
It wipes night from the wings of gulls, and,
where they glide, it steers the clouds.

It lifts the print from the page, the wind
through pine trees where each needle shines
enumerated in the light; it lifts
the curtain into the room it lights.

It lifts each object in the room into
heaven, one day at a time, then
drops everything into night, exhausted.
The dark that follows sets the leopard free.

At night I feel the sun drill towards my sleep
through the stone of the Great Wall.
In the kitchen, before dawn, its gas-jets hold
the kettle like a pair of hands.

New Brunswick, Spring 1976