Roy Herndon Smith

This May morning, I open the windows; light,
filtered, inexorable, fills all; the breeze
is cool, soft, heavy, variable; the leaves
are shades—light and bright and deep—of green; the sky
is subtly mottled creamy grey; now the birds
chirp and, as dark specks, lift and fly—here, away.

The cars on Victory roar and fade away;
through clouds, the sun shines and fades; the breeze is light;
and now a dog barks and barks and stops; the birds
chirp and cry; the shadows stay; the cars and breeze
come and go, the sunlight comes and goes; the sky
brighter, mottles clearer, shadows sharper, leaves,

still green, now shining white; now the white light leaves,
as do the gleams on car windows—here, away,
a bus swishes by on Victory. The sky,
soft blue behind the clouds that vary the light,
continues, the cars’ roar continues, the breeze
continues; everything sways, like flying birds

rising, falling, but not now, no flying birds
now, just chirring, twittering, warbling cries, leaves
waving, shivering, in the inconstant breeze.
After a blast of music, sounds fall away,
return, stillness inhabits the constant light,
as clouds drift and dissolve in the hazy sky,

faded, empty, vertiginous, blue-white sky.
A door clunks close, a distant siren, the birds’
far sparse chatter, barely heard voices; the light
exquisitely green and gentle through the leaves;
all draws close, then drifts, into pastels, away,
colors shading into each other; the breeze

diaphanous, the memory of a breeze
touching through the present touch, remembered sky
shining through the present blue; what is away
draws close in what is here; chirring, chirping birds
sing yesterday’s songs anew; everything leaves
and returns anew in present leaves and light.

Sensing’s falling between breeze and breeze, birds, birds,
memory, presence, the far sky, the close leaves,
falling away, falling into—all is light.