G. Louis Heath, Ph.D., Berkeley, 1969, is Emeritus Professor, Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. He enjoys reading his poems at open mics. He often hikes along the Mississippi River, stopping to work on a poem he pulls from his back pocket, weather permitting. His books include Leaves Of Maple: An Illinois State University Professor’s Memoir of Seven Summers’ Teaching in Canadian Universities, 1972-1978, Long Dark River Casino, and Redbird Prof: Poems Of A Normal U, 1969-1981. He has published poems in a wide array of journals.
A Restless World Of Transformation
It is June. The air is fragrant with honeysuckle, mimosa, and jasmine.
White star blossoms adorn the catalpa trees, their delicate custard scent
pleasant to passersby. The summer grows dense and rich. Soon petal
by petal, leaf by leaf, it fades. The dogwoods flame red. Alyssum grows
brittle and marigolds wilt. It is a restless world in flux, a timeless natural
odyssey. I wonder what it might mean to be ageless, to live outside Time.
I could explore every detail of this world in infinitude. I could follow my
passions to unlimited depths. Time, Eternity, and I would be a Trinity of
Infinite Self. The green of leaf and grass, the vivid color of flowers, would
grow restless as Self and Nature merged in unbroken circles of harmony.
The Forest Mirror
I took my looking glass into the forest. The rustling of
leaves, the sound of water filled my ears. The sight of
a hunter appeared behind me as I peered into the glass.
I turned round to see antlers of a moose sticking from
the leaves. I returned my gaze to the mirror. The hunter
was gone, edges of my reality tilted. I turned again, saw
a moose rising from the antlers with perfect grace. He
moved calmly into evening’s long shadows, a phantom.
Running to the mirror I could see images of the hunter,
moose, and myself dancing to the music of the stream.
As I Die
Sorrow glimmers in their eyes as they gaze on my
misshapen flesh. A shadow has fallen across my
family’s faces. I see the souls behind but they see
not mine. My hair has faded white. My skin has
lost luster, stretches tight across my bones. I fade
fast. All is so gray to my poor eyes. I close them
to imagine the air around me blooming dense with
flowers, a greenhouse of comfort. I run their images
through my mind like beads through my fingers. I
am puzzling things out. I have moved toward this
moment a lifetime. The present grows from the past
and holds it fast. Their condoling chatter ceases.
The world is pausing. It is getting so cold. My balmy
summer breeze is dying within winter’s curtains.