By Devreaux Baker
I don’t know why Lorca came to visit me.
Perhaps because I was too tired to get out of bed,
open the windows, or invite the outside world in.
He came through the adobe walls
as though they were air,
to pull up a chair by my dreaming body.
He was urging me to go with him,
into his broad avenues of light.
While I was happy to stay in bed,
hung up on red mesas
and the God in holy dirt.
He offered white linen afternoons,
the forgiving nature of the fabric.
I countered with California Poppies,
the shyness of orange petals.
He whispered that cigars were hard to find
in that other world.
I shared the pepper taste of nasturtiums
when the flower explodes against my tongue.
He pointed to the loneliness of light
trapped in the features of stars.
Morning banged against the door, anxious
to knit her shape back into his side,
light wanting to create dawn with his body.
Lorca said this was the nature of light,
she can never decide what she wants.
sometimes she acts as old as a grandmother,
stays on the brow, and sometimes
she brings the olive tree to life, climbing
in all the branches, as eager as a child.
He said it was really the broad face of Minerva
waiting just outside.
This was the juncture where his past
surfaced in my arms,
so I was embracing empty rooms of moon
and water, yellow plains with footprints of smoke.
In the distance, the sound of gunfire he turned to,
claimed it as his own, rose to go,
gathering his light in pleats and folds.
While from the street outside,
sirens signaled birth or death,
the tail end of night
lit by Lorca’s dawn.
I arrived in Mendocino as a writer in 1976 and lived in a cabin off the grid on the bluffs above the Navarro River. I received a California Arts Council Grant at that time, to produce original student writing (K-12) for National Public Radio which became The Voyagers Radio Series and aired locally on KZYX.
Devreaux Baker has published five books of poetry. Her awards include a PEN Oakland Poetry Award, the Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, the Hawaii Council on Humanities International Poetry Prize, a Women’s Global Leadership Poetry Prize, and the Outermost National Poetry prize. She is a Poetry Fellow at the Wurlitzer Foundation, the Hawthornden Castle, and the MacDowell Colony. She is the former Director of the Poets and Writers Series in Mendocino.