Musings on the life of a turtle in a cistern

La Purisima Mission, Lompoc, California

<<Return to story index            © bardsmaid, 1989

The world is a thirty-foot circle
of brick and mortar fashioned by
Indian labor
red and gray.
There are dry parts for sunning
cracks for borders between the
moss-pond where turtle feeds and sinks
unseen except by
skeeters on the surface and
yellow-flower forests
on the northwest side where the
life pours in.

Above the world the sky spreads
blue or gray
strange faces peer like rising moons
(does turtle know they have a life
beyond his red-gray rim?)
and wind howls past, alive
but never enters.