Sunday, April 28, 2013

Darkness Upon Darkness

darkness upon darkness
 this is the place
a mirrored reflection
of constellation and galaxies
on this bit of silent water
gathered in this clearing

arise from the shadows
seep out from deep-soiled refuge
gather yourself and come
you shall hold the darkness and silence
as a cloak upon your shoulders
galaxies and stars upon your chest

arise as if from the first moment
time beginning again
no word spoken this time
no echo of consonants broken
against stone and trunk
a silent birth from water and earth

darkness and light
ending or beginning
turning and returning
this is the place
where nothing and everything
are simply gathered in your hands

Pam Olson

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


the metal bowl:  hollow ring
reverberates through the house
calling the hound to breakfast

it is a bell
that chimes across a valley
calling the monks to prayer

the house is still and quiet
but for the click of nails
on the tiled floor

but for the rustle of robes
and the intake of breath
before the chant begins

still:      the bowl rings again
a Pavlovian yearning
the dog and I, full of want

Pamela Olson

Monday, April 22, 2013

All the Day

all the day she gathered
long-leafed grasses
up and down the worn path
from bluff to seashore

she found the saw-edged sedges
and plaited them together
until they sang to her
a song of morning

these she wove into the eastern side
of a plain four-sided house
for the dawn breeze to hum through
as the sun rises

from the bright field she cut
the summer grasses
heads heavy with seeds
and sang of long days and short nights

until they were woven into the northern wall
and when the winter wind blew
they rattled and crackled
their song of life

the soft dark-green of spring
was taken from under the oak
just beyond the pond
and she wove those fronds

with strong breezes and twine
tethered to earth— a sky-soaring diamond
in the southern-most wall
and it sighed with hope

the western wall had no grass
only an open window
there she leans out and watches
for the evening falling toward her

Pamela Olson

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Particular Geography

contortions of trunk and branch
folding themselves
around ---- beneath ---- over
                        stones older than I
                        cold but slowly warming
                        as sun and shadow
                        move--- east to west

marking days and geography
passing away
change comes at a cost

twisted upward
roots to stem to leaf
darkness fading to light

here is my place
planted ---- uprooted ---- planted
            again and again
each bend and break
marking another geography

form follows function
place and being:      fused

Pamela Olson

Seeing You Once Again

Don’t you know
I laid the map out before me
this morning as the trees
and their leaves departed company

I thought for a while of a journey
to see you and look into your eyes
the winding road before me
the shadow and light
ever changing places

a ticking of minutes and hours
as the tires would hum a soft song

I could gas up the car and pack a lunch
but I found that you were too far away
and at the end of the map
I would need keel and sail
to break through the surf
and glide in the deep currents

If I just drove off from here
heading toward the setting sun
would the mast be ready
and the wind be friendly when I arrived?

Would the breeze show me the way?
then upon a rocky coast
dripping with rain and ferns
would your kind eyes greet me?

Pamela Olson