Monday, February 26, 2018

03/05/2018 Bruce Fessenden

03/05/2018 Bruce Fessenden hosted by Jan

Bruce lives in Berkeley and is co-owner of Fessenden Firewood with his partner Christine.  He has been deeply immersed in the natural world his entire life through the activities of backpacking, climbing and skiing.  A book of his poems —“Crimson Coat” — was published in 2014 by Goldenstone Press.  Pieces of Bruce’s writings have appeared in a MoonShine Star Co. anthology called “What is Love”, and also in Richard Grossinger’s book “2013”.  A second volumne of poems, titled “Bones” will be published shortly.


People are sick these days
    you can hear it in the coughing
    at the coffee house, behind the words
    you can hear the phlegm
    from rushing around too fast
    chasing after what they already have.
Inside lung and organ tissue, inside marrow of bone
    unseen surfaces, stairways, hidden windows
    are already here in the world
    patiently waiting to be found.

It’s not that I’m rough all the time
    it’s something else, something that doesn’t quite fit
    or is a little too silent
    some part of me a little awkward
    a little alien; never feel quite right
    in the light of the everyday world.

I’m not a misfit, not a stranger
    I fit in, in a different sort of way
    like a crystal, opaque and transparent simultaneous
    almost black, but inward, not glowing
    more like an emphasizing
    the innerness of the stone
    a soft radiance, like an animal
    attentive, alive to its world
    just noticing, nothing more.

My darkness is the glade
    on the western side of the ridge
    where nobody goes.
Or the wild desert, a land of extremes
    harsh at high noon; yet crystalline purity
    with the early morning light.
Caravansari of old brought a human exchange
    all the remains is the sand, the dunes
    nights littered with stars.
What is exchanged now?  Where there is only wind
    and endless quiet, where footprints
    are erased in an instant.

What is my last day?
    Is it the holly tree, with its deep greens
    and reds; luscious growth and a steady joy?
Or is it the aurora borealis, with crackling mystery
    and otherworldly colors: lime, magenta, pink?
What have I released back to the
    ground, to matter, to the mother
    to the innerness of all things?
What gesture was I making inside
    the arc of my days, that others may have noticed
    which I could never see.
But love is not for understanding
    love is an activity; love moves.
Ashes to ashes, the course of my days
    a hollowing, for innerness
    a hallowing, full circle, the shape that
    holds the sacred, like a garden
    sifting, reflecting, dreaming

    then releasing.

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