by Lawrence James Nielsen

Today, leave the city
As we did years ago.
Come walk with me.
Feel, taste, hear and see where I live.
Let hurdy-gurdy traffic
melt into distant white noise.

Open the curtain on
a morn of weeping fog,
of tears on cattails, and
give grayness taste, texture.
Feed your sun hunger.
Find woolybears sleeping
in mouldering, mounded
leaves until Spring’s song wakes
all souls fuzzy and smooth.
Hear the songs cooed, chortled,
and honked upon the flood.

See feathered fantasias,
white and colored wings,
souring chevrons tiered
against sun-dogged skies,
cascading into rain
flooded paddies;
heralding frosty morns,
chortling, honking fog.

Taste the joy of life raised
without walls or fences.
Live renewed by beauty –
creation daily born.

Flow with the seasons
As they change between
Flyway and Sierras
Where the Yuba flows
From high mountains
to the skirts of the Valley

PHOTOGRAPH: Brown’s Valley, California.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lawrence James Nielsen, retired teacher, born in Orland, California, reborn in Ribeirão da Ilha, Santa Catarina, Brazil, lives in Brown’s Valley, California, at the edge of the Yuba Goldfields with his wife, Florence, several cats, numerous chickens, and any wild critter who shows up for a meal. He is a naturist, and when not helping others discover their ancestors and origins, spends his time gardening, writing, fishing, or roaming the desert and forest chasing ghosts, inspiration, and edible mushrooms. Before retiring, he taught at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, several community colleges, and (after discovering a love for working with at-risk youth) public schools in Los Angeles, Modoc, Sutter, and Yuba counties. He’s published two novels, Cdwyn, Son of Mynd and Don’t Murder Maria. Some of his poems have been published online and in local community magazines. His academic articles were published in a previous lifetime.