Tonic Minor


TONIC MINOR                                      photo: "South of Port Orford" by Tim Goodman



Cycling the north coast I think of the birth of cool

as a blue jay follows me, darting and dipping like Miles.


This sound is not ours alone.  The trumpet in the darkened

club, dense with grief, with revelation, rises out of the blood


of all Earth's creatures, out of the light that sinks into every

frantic eye.  I know this bird is not sorrow, I know this bird


is not grief, but the dark clouds suckling the hills are almost

the breast that fills the baby...nearly the waves that slow the


backbeat to make the human swoon.  I am riding north to

escape this body, to encourage wind in its persistent desire


to change us.  I am riding bird and I am alone, like the giant

onstage whose eyes glaze to increase the miles, who welcomes


shocks from the road, a sudden lightning, because birds can

sense when the earth is about to give, its symbols will hush,


when the sister mysteries will blow out the final note we love.


South of Port Orford






 © Eliot Schain