E. Butler. California Spring. 1918
William Trost Richards, Corner of the Woods, 1864
FROM THE BOOK OF DAYS
We have seen the paintings
In the cave of the hunt.
The buffalo are so real in
The light of the torches.
They seem to move, the throwing
Sticks and spears flying about.
Today the sun disappeared
In the middle of the day
For a long time. Then it came
Back. Many were afraid.
I was not one of them.
The war is all around us.
There is no way to describe
What is happening. It is
Like living inside an infection
Full of noise and sorrow.
Certainly we are lost now.
It has been many weeks since
We have seen land. Only the sea.
Always the sea. It is so large.
In traveling we have encountered
Many peoples so unlike ourselves
That we could never have imagined
Them. They are each having a
Unique experience as well. How
Is this possible? Such wonders.
The maps are incredible. Each
Place, each gene, is like a universe
In itself. Yesterday we made a slight
Turn and discovered an entire
Mountain range we did not know
Before. I saw a huge flock of bright
Green and red birds flying so vigorously
They seemed to be exclaiming. We were
So far from them their flights resembled
Writing across the sky, yet full of lights.
I waited for you most of the night.
Just before dawn I realized the river
Was much too high and fast for anything
To cross safely. I know you will
Come today. I write this to comfort
My heart only. I shall keep the watch.
I have never before thought of the rain
As an occasion. Today it has become
Something I would like to share with you
I spent several hours just sitting quietly
Watching it from the door stoop.