Mendocino Revisited


The other night when it was foggy on the coast, we went indoors.
Mendocino has not changed since we first camped here in the 60s.
The Point Arena lighthouse strobes through the density of that darkness.
I sat at the wooden kitchen table with my volume of Rexroth.
The new twisty bulb over me gave off a pale light.
I had something in mind to tell you about, but I forgot to say it.
That full moon rose over the rain-fattened Garcia River.
Don’t the different testaments on our shelf back home need a new addition?
A Now Testament, with new chapters always coming along.
The experience of our full evenings becoming subheadings.
Our early days held a war to worry about.
We are far removed from the sorrowful explosions.
The new ways of dying don’t excite me much.
Torn holes of hatred in the earth expand,
while older ones smolder in our memory.
Life could be filled with goodness.
Maybe goodness is life and it is all that simple.
What is not good is not life.
Yesterday we went around the outer edge
of that poor farm town.
We sat in that small church with all the vaqueros,
while the baby behind us cried and cried.
I knew what she might be crying about.
The place we were staying, out in the country, so far from it all.
And lonely.
Your voice hushed when I thought about writing these lines.
I didn’t say anything that might make you wish to be silent.
The moon, soon buried in that mist blowing in off the sea.
Everything here so slow and dark.
It happened this way before.
Even though it is a different form of darkness and loneliness,
it is still here now.
A few more years might make it go away.
but that would no longer be now.

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