In Our Backyard
there are avocado trees and
lemon trees and a plum and banana next door;
they keep the deck cool on hot days.
the sun shines brightest and hottest in the morning,
crisping the fallen leaves,
but in the afternoon the sea
breeze will tremble the trees and shrubs
and drift caring across the deck
mixing with kind friends inclined to gather here
to talk and eat, and unmask mysteries;
one dusk we saw the western sky
crack open the blue a window
in the center of the sky
triangular and metallic but like a rainbow, a prism
gold purple green blue rays announcing
it could be Jesus or E. T.
so some waited for a heavenly host
or an interstellar fleet, as the sky
continued to darken and the color to seep the triangle to melt
and leaves to fall ,knocked by the breeze to the deck in shade;
waiting for drops of late sun
and leaves and wind and gratitude
for the unknown hands that built the familiar deck
and the oracular couplets in the norteno music
from our neighbors’ backyard.
Wil Doucet has been a member of the SMC English
department for 5 years now. He has published poems in several literary
and poetry journals including The Pacific Review, The Fold, and
The Purple Heart Journal. He is a co-founder and facilitator of
the Dyamsay (pronounced jahm-say) Writers’ Workshop in Santa
Monica and the Third Root Writers’ Workshop and Artist Showcase
in the Pomona Arts Colony. The workshops are two projects produced
by the Ubwenge (oo-bwen-gay) Arts Coalition, a coalition of writers,
visual artists, dancers, musicians, computer artists and teachers
committed to providing means and access to forms of expression for
communities traditionally excluded from the fine arts and technology.
The coalition maintains a website (www.ubwenge.org) and publishes
a literary journal, The Ethiop’s Ear, co-edited by Wil, on-line
and in print when funds permit the coalition to do so.