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Four poems by David Mason

Poet laureate of Colorado from 2010-2015

David Mason
David Mason

Security Light

  • The glow outside our window is no fallen star.
  • It is futility itself. It is the fear of night
  • a neighbor burns with, nightmare of a stubborn child.
  • I dreamed of chasing crows in a dark of sea fog
  • and no wind, the chill smell of kelp and changing things,
  • knowing the sea’s edge and the sand met where the fish lived.
  • I saw the waters running out to meet the water
  • coming in, the small crabs lifted off their claws.
  • I saw the trysting place of cormorants, the cliffs
  • of guarded nests where eagles watched like sated kings
  • alive, alive at the moving sand clock of the sea
  • where all’s dissolved, where earth itself is taken down.

Frangipani

  • Cut blossoms floating in a bowl of water
  • are what they are. Someone saw and gathered
  • the pale white and yellow stars and leaned
  • intimately down. To know the fragile blooms
  • with breathing color is to be reborn
  • astir, astray and happier than before.
  • They float to survive now, a mystery like the dead
  • wake up to in the cradle of the night,
  • flesh of frangipani sweetening the bed
  • between the mown grass and the Southern Cross,
  • and if the memory bleeds at such a loss
  • it’s only the cost of living with desire.
  • So let the sphinx moths hunting nectar there
  • where none exists be go-betweens for life,
  • purposefully duped. Let the perfume rise.

The Great Changer

  • Without a song to find a lover by,
  • some days she floated like a driftwood log,
  • beached at high tide beneath a dismal sky.
  • She was not Salmon Woman swimming under fog.
  • She was not Echo, nor was she Talking River.
  • She was not Thunder and she was not ever
  • the mouse who changed her skin for woman’s skin.
  • She was not Milky Way. She was not Moon.
  • She had to move a mountain with a spoon
  • and never ask forgiveness of the sun.
  • When change came it was a gradual dying.
  • She was not Owl Woman. This was not flying.
  • But she was Fox and found her gnawed off limb
  • and the Great Changer came. And she welcomed him.

Epigram

  • The baby’s bawling and the old man’s laughter
  • rise from the center of the same I am.
  • Say it to windows, doors. Say it to rafters
  • on rivers of light. Say it to the breaking dam.

David Mason was Poet Laureate of Colorado from 2010 to 2015. His books include Ludlow: A Verse Novel, The Country I Remember, Arrivals, News from the Village, The Scarlet Libretto, Sea Salt: Poems of a Decade, 2004-2014, and Davey McGravy: Tales to be Read Aloud to Children and Adult Children. Mason divides his time between Colorado and Oregon.

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David Mason
David Mason

Security Light

  • The glow outside our window is no fallen star.
  • It is futility itself. It is the fear of night
  • a neighbor burns with, nightmare of a stubborn child.
  • I dreamed of chasing crows in a dark of sea fog
  • and no wind, the chill smell of kelp and changing things,
  • knowing the sea’s edge and the sand met where the fish lived.
  • I saw the waters running out to meet the water
  • coming in, the small crabs lifted off their claws.
  • I saw the trysting place of cormorants, the cliffs
  • of guarded nests where eagles watched like sated kings
  • alive, alive at the moving sand clock of the sea
  • where all’s dissolved, where earth itself is taken down.

Frangipani

  • Cut blossoms floating in a bowl of water
  • are what they are. Someone saw and gathered
  • the pale white and yellow stars and leaned
  • intimately down. To know the fragile blooms
  • with breathing color is to be reborn
  • astir, astray and happier than before.
  • They float to survive now, a mystery like the dead
  • wake up to in the cradle of the night,
  • flesh of frangipani sweetening the bed
  • between the mown grass and the Southern Cross,
  • and if the memory bleeds at such a loss
  • it’s only the cost of living with desire.
  • So let the sphinx moths hunting nectar there
  • where none exists be go-betweens for life,
  • purposefully duped. Let the perfume rise.

The Great Changer

  • Without a song to find a lover by,
  • some days she floated like a driftwood log,
  • beached at high tide beneath a dismal sky.
  • She was not Salmon Woman swimming under fog.
  • She was not Echo, nor was she Talking River.
  • She was not Thunder and she was not ever
  • the mouse who changed her skin for woman’s skin.
  • She was not Milky Way. She was not Moon.
  • She had to move a mountain with a spoon
  • and never ask forgiveness of the sun.
  • When change came it was a gradual dying.
  • She was not Owl Woman. This was not flying.
  • But she was Fox and found her gnawed off limb
  • and the Great Changer came. And she welcomed him.

Epigram

  • The baby’s bawling and the old man’s laughter
  • rise from the center of the same I am.
  • Say it to windows, doors. Say it to rafters
  • on rivers of light. Say it to the breaking dam.

David Mason was Poet Laureate of Colorado from 2010 to 2015. His books include Ludlow: A Verse Novel, The Country I Remember, Arrivals, News from the Village, The Scarlet Libretto, Sea Salt: Poems of a Decade, 2004-2014, and Davey McGravy: Tales to be Read Aloud to Children and Adult Children. Mason divides his time between Colorado and Oregon.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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