I’m watching ash fall around me,
stick to my skin.
But sometimes I have to live as if I didn’t know,
clasp a pebble like a hand,
stroke ancient bark as though a face,
kiss the softening mist, feel
the pulse of rock as if it were sea,
breath of moon even here, even now
in this place which is home
where the blackbird in the thorn tree
opens his bill–yellow, of course–
to his dancing scat,
turning inside out, turning in the ashfall.
If I stood on my head, would the world right itself?
I won’t try, but it might.