Legion of Honor
It's wrapped in coastal winds and cypress trees,
With lions guarding entrance to the court.
Inside, they serve up tea and apricot tarts,
Between glass clad in mist from neighboring seas.
Degas' love of Parisian millinery
Ripples among the walls of light and dark:
Illuminated portraits, girls in sharp
Well-flowered, feathered hats in velvet sheen.
Around the corner, see a more ancient hall:
An ibis-headed man in frozen gait,
Cartouche and hieroglyphics on a wall,
And bluish scarab from a mummy's grave.
Now listen: hear the echoes of a call;
Remaining heartbeats of each distant age.
In The Trees
We wandered through the forest while the day
Was just beginning to send the sun to sleep.
The woods were thin, with meadows; the trails were steep,
Buckbrush and thorny bramble lining the way.
The colors of field flowers broke the gray
Of oak trunks and sticky thickets, with a peep
From starthistles' yellow finches. Then the creep
Of dusk, announced by all the chorus frogs, came.
Springtime in the chaparral passes quick,
Rushed out by sun, and slow to follow snow.
But it was then we found the sea of white,
The apricot petals, falling. Long ago
That tree must have been planted, to be picked;
Some braved the wilderness, then made a home.