In the woods, trees, bushes, grass and leafy plants, bristling green, send their roots, in grasps of dirt, searching in the earth that reaches into the lake, like cupped hands holding water, after precious molecules. This is a mystery, dripping, dissolving on the surface in the air. High white oceans rest a while, clouds suspended, riding the moving air. I’ve climbed hundred-foot trees, rooted deeply in the earth, and stood atop a mountain with a landscape of three states, looking at the distant and dissolving blue, water in the air wavering in hundreds of miles of sunlight. I breathed. I lived by water, and waited for the rain. I looked for clouds in morning skies. I felt for dampness in the air when clouds’ shadows eased my sun-starched eyes. I breathed. I took color in my hand and tried to copy the sun reflecting from the land. I’ve lain awake at home in bed to listen to the rain. I’ve slept on the bank of a lake filled with trout and beaver, with leaches and mud thick on the bottom, growing delicate mosses and underwater ferns undulating from the breeze-formed ripple on the soft-tongue edge in the dirt of the bank. I’ve lain there at night and looked at the milky way of stars as they needled through the blackness in my eyes, gradually becoming visible. I’ve walked among pine trees in spring rain, sunlight sparking in the water dripping from pine needles to soak through layers of soft black loam. I’ve cried and thought of God. I’ve wondered about rainbows. I’ve been reassured by the aura of emotion that circumscribed my heart, curving down to a distant hope. I formed an ocean of potential to an inward dream of happiness, a dream that what I held would hold me, sensitive to who I would become. I think of roots in wet earth. I’m fighting. I won’t sell books of poetry for 98 cents. I won’t sell reassurances that I see as lies. I won’t force payment on anything unwanted, not friendship, not love, and not anything I dream, or what I have to give. After a while, the rain falls.

20 October 1971