California Here I Am
by James Keller


There are so many connections
and yet confined as we all are,
each and everyone to solitude,
little connects in a world
where everything is bought and sold
and the land that belongs to no one
but itself is parceled out,
plowed up or grazed upon,
planted with lucrative pipelines
or turned into suburban forts.
California is as good a place
as any to think of the solitude
of parents far off or long dead;
for in their solitude which
made them unavailable
as parents to their baffled children
and sowed the seeds of solitude
in those children, so that
here you might well find yourself
reflecting on empty spaces.
While up there in the always blue sky,
night prepares a rare blood-red show
of the total eclipse of the moon
harvested in autumn
which will also provide
the spring's first full moon
Down Under in the far south,
but here in the dry grass
in a forgotten cemetery,
rattle snakes face another day.
Crisscrossed by railway companies
whose always-in-a-hurry whistles
punctuate the silent landscape,
and whispers in the dry grass
bring briefly, rumors of
cities to ranches of isolation
where the heat is always noon,
hungry raptors wheel overhead
in a sky that is always blue
and this is my California too.