What To Live For

The way the landscape delivers itself up in layers:
Heavy, leafy branches of the avocado tree backlit
in the foreground, framing the view; glimpse of a shake
roof and brick chimney to the right; massive oak
on the ivy-covered slope; three towering palms,
breeze dance of fronds; the mountain range
lavender-grey. Men and women dressed in skins
climbed these peaks at sundown and received ancient
wisdom from living rocks.

I watch and wait for the sun to drop behind the mountain.
An owl I can hear but not see calls out in response. Our back fence
of weathered redwood is twined round with potato vine. Leaves
and clusters of star blossoms bright-lit with the last burst of sun.
At my back, out of view, beds planted with wisteria, sweet-scented
jasmine, angels’ trumpet and climbing roses. A spider has spun a web
from one branch of the avocado to another. A breeze catches it and it
wavers silvery in the light but does not break. Tomorrow the mountain
will be bridled in light again.