The Grammar of Juggling

The Grammar of Juggling

What started with a few smooth stones,
expanded: backwards, inside out,
with more and fewer stones;
gathering nuts from the eucalypts,
immigrants now natives.
They lack gravitas. They wander
in the breeze off the fog, though
eucalypts and fog are always
together in my heart for this place.

The fog has a sound that smothers
the whine of tires, crowding it
into a second or two though
when unencumbered,
it fills the space between the hills.

Sound: wind in the rattlesnake grass,
wild oats further uphill. All walled out
among the pines filled with their own sound.

The eucalypt nuts are green
with the gray of fog. 
Neither are covered
by the grammar
of juggling.

I remember I am using
the grammar of juggling
to regain
lost proprioception.
I do not know where
I all am.

First published in Red River Review, August 2017 issue. Navigating there is tricky. Go to their Website, click on the current issue link, November 2017 at the moment. Scroll to the bottom of the page, click on previous issues link. Scroll to the bottom of that page and click on August 2017 link. Mine is #30.

This poem was written as an exercise in a writing retreat led by Jane Hirshfield at Santa Sabina Retreat Center in San Rafael, north of San Francisco, CA. She led us through a list, choosing 5 abstract nouns, so many verbs, adjectives or qualities, etc. Then we were to write a poem using them.

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