The past has all blown east.
The Monterey cypress felt it leave
in the teeth of a Pacific sea squall.
Ever since, the cypress has leaned
with outstretched arms.
Some days I am that cypress—
wind buffeted, whale boned,
sway backed and salt bleached.
I was thrust off-center in my cambium
and over time
my heartwood scorched.
And like the cypress I cantilever
east in search of lost days.
I reach with every limb
for something blown away, because
those days are familiar landscape
softened by the fog of memory,
and somewhere in that fog is the sum
of what I’ve already weathered.
Somewhere east is a time
when I already survived the gale.
If I could find it, I’d exhume the past
and kneel beside it in the rain.
Monterey cypress, Hesperocyparis macrocarpa.
Many are found on the rugged Central California
Coast in the Big Sur and Point Lobos areas.
They are iconic survivors of harsh sea weather and
winds from the west.