20100527

Ed Higgins


Mirage

A spotted Bobcat bounds out of the fir copse from underbrush tangle to across the road a few feet in front of my car's curving path. I can’t even brake before the animal disappears on the opposite hillside, effortlessly as summer air rising. So suddenly, did this really happen? The lithe cat in broad daylight springing across a country road, then gone in an tufted instant.

In legend Coyote met Bobcat one day and tried to trick Bobcat. Bobcat laughed, saying to Coyote, “My fingernails are long, and you will feel them.” Later Skunk and Bear both agreed Coyote was very foolish. And very lucky.

at any moment ahead
before we expect—
something extraordinary


Faith Story
Do behold the King Sequoia! Behold! Behold! seems all I can say. Some time ago I left all for Sequoia and have been and am at his feet, fasting and praying for light, for is he not the greatest light in the woods, in the world? — John Muir

Maybe I will embrace
you. Or I will refuse you.
Yet believe in my longing
nonetheless. But this will
not be proof of you.
As if proof of you
were my exclusive
province. As in the
taste of mist in an
old-growth forest.
There I once embraced
a Giant Redwood. A
group of twenty of
us holding hands.
Outstretched arms
circling the impossible
trunk. Morning mist in
cathedrals of sun slant.
The fibrous bark biting
into my arms and chest,
a scented woodsy hair
shirt, kneeling there on
needle humus. Yet
this is a memory so
distant now I am sure
it is stitched of hope
only. I can await trust with
eternity’s outstretched
uncertainty. I will
unravel even faith.
Looking for it to catch
up, holding upward against
the impossible light.


Ed Higgins' poems and short fiction have appeared in Pindeldyboz, Mannequin Envy, Word Riot, Otoliths, Tattoo Highway and qarrtsiluni, among others, as well as in a variety of print journals. He and his wife live on a small farm in Yamhill, OR, where they remain unrepentant holdovers from the 70s "back-to-the-land" movement and raise a menagerie of animals including a manx barn cat named Velcro. He teaches creative writing and literature at George Fox University, south of Portland, OR.
 
 
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