Finding Time is Beauty on a Georgia Barrier Island

Day —

In the wisdom of his book on Time-Consciousness, heavy with words, concepts bones of a great explanation, Edmund Husserl looks into a garden at an apple tree blooming, and I look at the sky through open, horizontal blinds. Tired of sifting dictionary pages to aid my mind’s work for meaning, I stare at the sky until a bird flits across. No matter what philosophers argue, believe, decide, the sun still shines through the trees, leaves still fall as they die.

Drawn outside I palm brittle-edged tiles of hundred foot pines, step on familiar roots across paths through the scrub of vines and oak saplings, see the beauty of a redbird’s jump from ground to bush, a blue jay’s puff of lifted wing at the trail’s concrete birdbath. As the day moves slowly on, its meaning is in its story: squirrel’s quick burrow, horsefly’s buzz, scent of confederate jasmine, strength of live oaks — arms dense like the words of Husserl I will eventually walk back to.

Night –

On the back patio night holds secrets in moonlight, life is a wonder where stars fill gaps between crowns of pines while wind rifles shadows through their limbs’ fur coats of needles. Owls call softly. Spiders work their silent spinning.

From the house I barely hear the tv’s talk of domestic, foreign policy: strapped workers still scull the days, lose jobs — people died, again, in wars — a world’s devils work their constant disarray. But here, movement ghost-scatters leaves in the tangle of vines, brush, clumps of saw palmetto between trees. In a flashlight’s beam, my thoughts are stilled by a raccoon’s eye-black stare.

-Steven Croft

Steven Croft lives happily on a barrier island off the coast of Georgia on a property with virgin pines, live oaks, magnolias, palm trees and varieties of ground vegetation, all home to various species of birds and animals. He has recent poems in Sky Island Journal, As It Ought to Be Magazine, Poets Reading the News, So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, and Third Wednesday.

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