• Kimberley Pittman-Schulz

Every New Day, The Best Day

“On my way home I remember only good days. / On my way home I remember all the best days. / I’m on my way home I can remember every new day.

— Enya, Irish singer and composer


A Good Day


Dawn

The day lifts like a perfect body

pulled from water, dripping.

Tree frogs, red-legged frogs all

start singing.

The sound is a hundred hinges,

the body entering and entering.

 

Getting Clean

Both cats lap at my ankles as I step

from a shower, then they turn

to each other, licking and nipping.

The deer mouse hunted room to room

three nights running, sits preening

in the corner of my eye, tucked

behind a basket of books, tiny hands

scrubbing cheeks, crown, opaque ear.

Through the window, one sky, wild hair

of cirrus clouds washed with blue.

 

Morning Walk

The old fire trail,

walking, walking, walking,

redwoods leaning over both shoulders,

below each sole, millennia of crushed needles.

A hermit thrush scurries forward, pauses, tilting back

his head, opening throat, a gilded pink well,

ethereal music, as if the birdness

has flown out of the bird.

 

Off to Work

Driving, immersed in jazz, this road

black tinsel through heavy leaves

of colt’s foot and spent trillium,

the landscape ridges and valleys. Suddenly

deep in a gulch the jazz breaks,

a baritone voice says, consider only

the best, the jazz just as suddenly back

topping a hill, the universe

momentarily un-encrypted. Driving,

no not god, but more than hawker.

I turn up the dial.

 

On Campus

Three starlings, plumage flashing

copper, purple, oiled green in thin fog,

climb a ravaged trunk, talking like hawks

then trilling, looking into openings, yellow beaks

honeyed with cool emptiness.

I crouch to a poppy, a gaudy ornamental

among the native orange. Under my breath,

and mist slick, the blossom bursts. All morning

I walk halls, skim carpets, trousers cuffed

in red petals that won’t let go.

 

A Meeting

Many voices at once, then calm. Cups lift

and each face sees itself tremble.

Beside me a woman talks intensely, her hands

tethered birds pulling into the air.

I focus on one thumbnail, a little arc of dirt.

What has that thumb been up to?

Cradling muddy shoots, scraping up shiny stones,

cleaning a dog’s foot, the crevices between pads?

Her hands flutter and bank, that thumb

with its own crescent of dark moon.

Falling in love with those hands,

that thumb, their mysterious lives.

 

Clam Beach, Pretending

Sanderlings wheel over damp sand,

legs a blur. As if pushed by wind,

they float North. Sparks fill their footsteps.

Godwits, whimbrels, sandpipers land

in an applause of wings, picking

at the glistening.

What if, in the next world,

we could be birds, more sanderlings,

trundling beside ocean on six toes,

black beak stabbing shore, prying open

the wet edge, poking into the salt darkness

for some succulent morsel?

 

At the Theatre, Kodo Drummers

Kodo, heartbeat. A room of battered skins

becomes something else.

My collarbone floats

in the sound of bees, a swarming,

the skinny bones in my chest

a ladder climbing down,

my body flushes, sweetness returning,

rhythm thick, pouring in, out.

 

Late Night

Now a fox is yapping and whistling.

I feel his teeth grab my heart

soft as shrew with her own teeth

chewing roots, hungry too. I’ve eaten moss,

breathed river, touched death, it’s so still,

and seen how a single great-blue heron

is a form of light. The heavens have a saying,

but I don’t know what it is. Awake,

and soon again sleep.