And She Crosses the Misty Talon of Time (By Joanna Brook)

for some time scurries

rustling about underneath 

the droppings of trees

time has big eyes 

small paws and saves seeds


for us

time is an eagle

a vast bird of prey perched 

on an outcrop of stone

like stone unmoving

sharp eyed and harsh

time beckons with stillness


in the beginning of the adventure

we consider time

a mountain

in the blue ridge

whose folds we could shred

with the power of flight

in crossing 

the folds of mountain

as a moth or a jay

time ripples

and expands

it lifts

toward the heavens as moth

wanders toward moon

as jay rises and falls

heaven bears down on time

softening the sharp upper edge


where when we reach it

time is so large it seems stable

as we cross the precipice 

more than any difference 

between the granite

and time’s talon 

we notice the snowy wind 

and the soft shreds of cloud

passing like veils

for us wingless

time becomes an interrogation

of each stone in the path

time is also our whorled

fingertips on ridged bark

time is a swirl of cold creek

our thirst savored

our knowing that way is the way

to the ocean

it happens 

after we cross the misty talon of time


time’s golden head tilts

the dark eye sparkles

all we feel is a lightening of the earth

a brightening of the sky

we stop and look around

  • what was that? 

as time lifts off

and plunges

having perceived a meal

rustling and squeaking