Thank you for the rock sculptures
that stand peacefully along this water’s edge.
You, who have mastered the art of balance,
who work alone before dawn-
thank you for your fingers
that are as patient as a lover’s,
how you find the slipping into-
the jagged point into crevice,
the curve into hollow-
one asymmetrical rock
on top of the next-
your breath becoming
Thank you for these sacred totems
who arrive and disappear
as suddenly as an early morning breeze.
I hear their spirit voices whisper,
One day I see, “Old Woman Who Stares at the Strait”,
the next week, “Owl Who Watches Sunsets”.
Thank you for the mystery,
the magical appearance
of what looks to be impossible-
the precariousness of this world
tempered by simplicity and patience…
each rip rap rock
balanced one upon the other-
like granite hearts
their love for one another.
Johanna Ely is Benicia’s sixth and current poet laureate.