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.