SPRING ON MOUNT DIABLO
by Lucille Lang Day
See the bluebird on the arching branch
of the live oak amid white oaks
and gray pines on the hillside, which holds
so many shades of green. And see
the black and yellow meadowlark.
Head on, it looks like a pansy in the tree.
Watch the red-winged blackbird dance
in the meadow, ruffling its epaulettes,
perhaps to summon romance, or let
an adversary know who’s king. Notice
the triangular leaves of the purple
Chinese houses that sprout by the trail.
Mustard, mule ears and buttercups
are golden. Indian paintbrush and yarrow
remind us of fire and snow. Smell
pineapple weed and taste the wild radish.
Touch sticky monkey flowers. Listen!
Skinks and snakes, slithering in the grass.
Did you glimpse the one with curved fangs
and diamond markings? It’s a rattler.
There are many by the path. And on
the flanks of the mountain, did you notice
the mansions below boulders embedded
with fossil shells from an ancient sea?
The mammals with opposable thumbs
have hoarded golf clubs, CD-ROMs
and emeralds, then left for Costa Rica,
while blue dicks bloom unbidden
by their driveways, and tree frogs gather
in their yards each night to sing.
Poems copyright c 2000 by Lucille Lang Day
Lucy has taken many outings with me and some of these trips have inspired some of her poetry. Her poetry collections are Wild One (Scarlet Tanager Books), Fire in the Garden (Mother’s Hen), and Self-Portrait with Hand. She can be reached at email@example.com.