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John Caddy
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John Caddy's
Morning Earth Poems
September 2002



is no arrow, say,
nor driving line.
Say time's a circle round a fire.
Imagine it a sphere.
Say it turns, spins the days.
Say it rolls more slowly too, wets
the turning rim of heaven's bowl
with a finger drunk with stars
which autumn rings deep blue.
Say it's now.


The season is upon us, the equinox has come. The blue depths of autumn's skies pull us in. We feel that color like a held note on a crystal glass. The poignance of the dying back combines so with the beauty of leaf change and fall.



West wind bends trees toward me
as I walk the field north, sudden dark
swoops up the path before me--
shadow-hawk crosses wind
twenty feet up, held wings
tilt side to side, up over oaks
two beats, curves into the west
and vanishes in light.

When my eyes drop,
a gray cat walks the trail ahead
in wind-loud unaware as I
cry out once, twice, snaps
his head around on thrice
and races for the woods.


Encounters with the land-bound who are too large to carry off must frustrate a redtail hawk. I suspect the cat was small enough to warrant a closer inspection, and a nice rabbit gray. The suddenness of shadows when they cross our paths!



Air approaches frost.
Dawn mist over marsh.

Two wide-winged cranes
fly directly away from me,
slow long beats.
At each downstroke
feathers curve up against
palpable air until
all vanishes in white.


At 34 degrees, mist seems an unsettling precursor. Sandhill cranes are always magic, that sweep of wing--but flying deliberately north?



The furry bee nestles
in my warm palm
to end her time.
She feels alive, the slight
breath of her body
tingles until feet release
black hooks to utter quiet.
Her brocaded colors deepen.


How lovely and strange to be honored by a bumblebee's death. They never live long, these working girls, but while they fly they brighten our gardens and days. Her pollen sacs were full orange on her black legs; she worked until she couldn't.



The morning star is faint
in first light, sky looks clear.
No birdsong.

Tall mist above pond and marsh,
but through them pulses the distant roar
of engines on the blacktop
hurtling through the dark
on their way to war.


The madness goes on.



Moon's crescent rides high
before dawn above a white-mist marsh.
In the tops of dead oaks
huddle three crows, skulls
pulled into shoulders, neckless,
but it is windless and oddly warm.
The crows break into caws that echo
like shadows through the mist.


The sky is dawning blue but it's not smiling at me. Things feel ominous. Mabon (equinox) is gone, harvest is done, but the leaves refuse to color. I understand nothing, but I have hungry eyes.