I read Margaret Ronda's poetry this morning and again this afternoon and this evening. And the sky that had fallen on a clutch of baby chicks lifted and whirled and opened. The weather these past few weeks in San Diego has brought gloom and clouds and uncharacteristic thunder and lightening. This makes the people slouched in the waiting room sit up and say, "Oh. Was that thunder?" And when I read Ms. Ronda's lines about looking upon the sun as the wine of astonishment, I pause my life cartwheeling before my eyes. I pause. To contemplate. Sky. Element. Light. Cloud. Pitch. Loam.
Then, I sit down to break bread with The First Person. A reliable Narrative Voice. Mum scoops spoonfuls of mush into my mouth. I gag on language and pull a face. Someone says grace after we eat. Someone gives thanks for words that un/canny. Soon I will steady my writing fist and scold that mysterious bird caller, "I must stop ignoring my eyes."
Margaret Ronda's words complicate meal journey potty time mucus, color laundry, pile toys, befriend, sinister routine, habit clouds, bark, and disappear me. Reading her words falls the Rain? And San Diego needs rain. Oh, how we Give Us This Day Our Rain!
I listen. Friends. You sit rainstorms away wiping facefuls of breaded puree?
Her wrists, are they pulsing now with wild, intimate, preened feathers? I lean my ear to her Coast.
Footfalls and callings away pass through. Dark disguises itself as sunset. Light plays dress up with Night. Makes wonder coherent to the strangely dressed lady who is reading on the park bench while the past-your-bedtime orphans invent games on the playground that is built over the old graveyard in Mission Hills. The reading lady lifts her hand and jubilantly cries out, as if she is buying rounds in a pub: "My treat: one poem for every laborer who helped move the headstones and the fog to the new graveyard in Old Town! And one for everyone who built this playground!" She wishes to celebrate, but not alone.
Nobody gives thought to those still buried here. Here are your children, your stomp stomp, your wild rumpus, your monkey callers. The revelers come every day to mash grapes and pour wine over the monkey bars and down the slides until the bucket swings floodeth over. A vintage from coastal Gleeyards with velvety layers of sorrow spice and bliss berries. Cheers! Here's to the Poet and to Astonishment!