If I Had Written That Poem
I Could Be Happy All My Life

—after Gary Snyder’s “Burning the Small Dead”

by Charity Everitt


Of magic, of burning small
branches, turning rain and old rock
into wind-ruffled stars.
Of night at the edge
of the Gulf on the bluffs
above Santa Clara; night
so black there is no seam
between cliff and sea, so clear
we can see beyond Antares,
so still we hear singing
on the inland train to Guaymas.
And in the morning, beside the ashes,
tracks where Coyote has wrestled
his bag of stars into the sky.

Charity Everitt is retired following a career in technical writing and engineering software design and development. She finds the linguistic precision required in her technical career to be eminently applicable to poetry, making tangible the process of dissolving boundaries between the actual and the sparks of the mysterious. Her poems have appeared in Lyrical Iowa, Comstock Review, Concho River Review, Her Words/Black Mountain Press, and River Heron Review, among others.