Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Michael C. Seeger 

The Kite

I carry you running across a field of grass nestled
on a spectacular Sierra Nevada Mountain ridgeline

in August below Heavenly ski resort high above
the vast and noble hue of Lake Tahoe’s blueness, you are

holding onto a kite and letting go of the string to
watch it fly away for fun as I run trying to catch

it —barely grasping the line before it escapes for good
in the gusting current of the wind. Something in your laugh

made me believe that I would always catch runaway kites.
Going back now to where it all began fourteen years hence.

You may not have wondered much then about what happens to
kites carried off on the high wind cresting the mountainside

Or did it occur to you then, dearest daughter, that you
would fly away disappearing into the brilliant blue?


A Felt Absence

A distant memory can burn like coal.
I feel an absence where I cannot go.
The slightest regard ripples in my soul.

I think to understand things on the whole.
We move by feeling. How else would we know?
A distant memory can burn like coal.

I move forward now for that is the goal.
What causes my bloodstream’s quickening flow?
The slightest regard ripples in my soul.

Forgotten times seem to slip down a hole.
Why are some kept unconsciously below?
A distant memory still burns like coal.

Do circumstances beyond our control
Just appear to upset the status quo?
A certain sadness ripples in my soul.

The good change brings is slow to console.
Seasons turn. Why is it hard to let go?
A distant memory can burn like coal.
The slightest regard ripples in my soul.


In the Soul of the Carmel River

“The Carmel is a lovely little river. It isn’t very long
but in its course it has everything a river should have.”

—John Steinbeck

The crisp water tongue of the Carmel River runs northwest
through Monterey County flowing from it headwaters in
the Santa Lucia Range and the Ventana Wilderness,
slipping into the mouth of the Pacific ocean,

south of the bay of Carmel-by-the-Sea —it’s brackish water
the flavor of life. Salt permeates all recollection, swollen
with new rain to over-flowing —fresh and salacious,
drink deeply from these waters.

There is a hallowed spirit here sweetly wedded in time,
profoundly sacrosanct in its offering. Swallow me river —
I’ve come to you seeking to empty my soul and
memory, immersed in the sanctum of your stream,

merged with the timeless rocks and words of your water.


Ode to Oswit Canyon
“We need the tonic of wildness.” —Thoreau

On the trail my boot heels land
prints upon the rocky sand
through the morning solitude
distancing all desuetude —
the dancing rhythms of my stride
connects with me all I espied.
My bones inhale the desert air.
My empty thoughts are without care.

A rising sun wakes up the realm
(a sight that does not underwhelm),
lighting up the mountain line —
a glorious range from palm to pine.
Purple sky and camel earth
indicate an immense worth.
The beauty of this place allures
the sound and sense of it assures.

Into my eyes there comes the show
of Oswit Cone in alpenglow.
While spanning its alluvial sweep —
the splashing white of bighorn sheep
are seen upon the mountainside
while desert fox and bobcat hide.
The canyon beckons me to stay
in welcoming the break of day.

In rocky sand my boot heels dig
to reach a wild and ancient fig
next to a pooling waterfall
descending on the mountain’s wall.
The vine appears as old as time
(to see it makes it worth the climb).
The cooling water a surprise —
its pool reflects the orange sunrise.
I feel its warmth within my heart
and hum the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”


On Point Lobos —Point of the Sea Wolves

Saltwater spindrift absorbs like a drug as diamonds of light blaze
on the tumbling wave-shook sward; I look around in wonder.

Wintering whales swimming south to mate surface and splash submerging
to dive deeply into the mysterious Pacific.

Undersea knolls brimming with shells and kelp in the green and ink blue
waters crashing, bend in violent regularity.

White-maned waves rush the shore like wild horses; the rolling water’s force
mesmerizes as it batters the rocky inlets.

The dark granodiorite-carmelo bluff stands tall on the headland, where sea
wind offers no tree a chance to develop,

marked by tempests and the ages of time — on its pinnacle a bird of prey roosts. Wild cognizance united with final disinterestedness;

the falcon’s pragmatist eyes and act hitched to the land’s supernatural
quality of stone, which disappointment cannot cast off
nor achievement diminish, or ennoble.

Poets find their muse here among the rock

and plein air painters seek inspiration;
purple lupines and orange poppies grow
along the path among other wildflowers.

Harbor seals bark and brown pelicans perch
on the lean stone shanks of the wolf’s sheer flanks,
and pure angularity of his spine,

Named Punta de Los Lobos Marinos
By 18th century Conquistadors
after the barking sounds of sea lions

who live here this ancient granite wolf rests
half submersed looking seaward, its ears
sharp angles of North Shore outcropping peak

as the grove of ancient Monterrey Cypress
on Point Lobos’ snout rises climbing sea cliffs
high above the Headland Cove jaw

opening half in Neptune’s sphere,
half in mine.


Michael Seeger is a poet and educator residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California. Prior to his life as a middle school English instructor, he worked as a technical writer for a baseball card company and served as a Marine infantry officer during Desert Storm. Some of his recent poems have appeared in Literary Hatchet, the Scarlet Leaf Review, Pioneertown, and the Desert Sun

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