by Teg Green

I had a vision. And last night I had a vision.

I saw it as a dream wending its way over bright fields
of phosphorus flowers at midnight, crying in hunger
at the light of life and the colors of life
exploding through in the darkness of life.

Last night I had a vision. And I was there and there
were songs of gentle people and songs of rain and
wind was singing and the wind was singing
like the breath of deer running through
the woods at midnight in the rain.

And the people were singing the night song
of their lives in houses of wood and
of stones in roads that were wet with rain
and in glens and in glades that were dark with
the rain. And there was singing at midnight
in the wind in the woods.

Then I saw a table set with lamps
and metal plates and with family faces
in the orange flickering of the lamps.
And the fragrance of apples was in the air.
And there was the crying of children.
And smoke came from the chimneys and out
into the dark and the rain. And there was laughter
and crying at midnight.

And I dreamed that I saw in the daylight of the woods
the juneberry and the may-apple and the rum cherry trees
that were ripe with midsummer fruits that were blue
and lemon and purple. And they were gathered by
birds and by mothers and children who walked
in the woods with great baskets for pies and for
juices and jams. The baskets grew heavy with blue
and lemon and purple fruits, and I heard
the four-year-old baby shriek for her mother as
the silent snake slid black and thick through
the dead leaves and was gone. The air was heavy
with gnats and with heat. And the sound of jays was in the air.

Then I saw by the river in the sun the town's beauty
with its effortless smiles of commerce. And
there were food and drink and items of commerce
in metal and wood and leather and glass and in
fabrics of many colors and cloths. The hand
that offered the powdered cakes was old and worn
with spotted and papery skin and the hand
that took the powdered cakes was small and plump
and smooth. There were eyes that shone with delight
and eyes that dozed in the shade. There was perfume
in the air and sawdust on the floor and flies
slipped through the open screen door at the sound of
a bell lusting after ribbons of honey on the ceiling.
And I saw benches under shade trees and tethered
bikes and dogs moving with the shade under the legs
of men. And bins spilled to the street bursting
with the fruit of the gardens of the town and with
the fish of the river caught by children from the
bridge of the town. And there were onions and cheeses.
And there were wines and breads. And they were the rich
compost of the land.

Then I saw in the dream a garage where it was said
that owls had lived in the eaves. And I saw
on the old floor of the garage the wood shavings
of maple and of oak. And the smell and the dust
of freshly cut woods was in the air. And the hands
that planed the wood were strong and tan. And the hands
that chiseled the grooves in the wood were careful
and sure. And there was the plangent singing of
the electric circular saw. Once when the hands
that shaped the wood had slipped on a splinter
the blood ran clean and red from it onto the floor.
And the wood grew smooth and perfect under the touch
of the hands. And the smell of tung oil was in the air.
And outside along the alley were sunflowers
grown tall by the windows in the sun.

And I saw as in a dream a house of the town.
And in the house were sunlit rooms with rugs and
many plants. And on the landing of the stairs
of the house was a sleek gray cat asleep in the sun.
And at the top of the stairs I saw a room. As in
a dream I saw them in the room, moving slowly,
up and down, moist and breathing, in and out,
silently speaking with only their eyes as she rode
on top and the sun splashed over their bodies
and his lips parted with hers and their silent
breathing quickened and came as one. And it was
then that the sound from the top of the stairs in
the house with the cat was the sound of love
in the afternoon.

Then I saw a child with much longing in his eyes.
He sat in a ditch by the old road to town and
covered himself with the dirt that he dug with a spoon.
There was a peach tree between him and the house
behind him and the tree was without leaves
and was dying in the yard. And the yard was
without grass and in the yard was a refrigerator.
He watched carefully the road to the town as he dug
in the ditch. And there was no pleasure in him.
And when the family waved from the road to the town as it passed
in the car and he waved back with the spoon
it was with much longing in his eyes. And he was
alone and there were bruises on the arms of him.

And in the dream I saw the door of a cottage
standing open to the western night.
And on the inside of the cottage were books
and freshly shaved pencils and sheaves of empty paper
at the desk in the room with only one chair.
And around the cottage and on the roof of the cottage
were pine needles from the trees. And the fragrance
of the needles was in the night air. And the rooms
of the cottage were empty except for the song
of the crickets in the night.

Last night I had a vision. And there were towns
and even cities where the rivers ran fresh
with fish. And there were towns
with dirty children who learned to love in their time
and were meanwhile fed by the hand of God.
And there were streams and houses and snakes living
in the woods of the land.

I saw it as a dream in the electric tides of life
with its seasons and smells and its terrible swift
changes of light and of dark. And the burden
of the gift that I saw was not too heavy to bear.
And I cried until dawn.

I had a vision. And last night I had a vision.

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Copyright © 2012 by Teg Green
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