Months To Years Fall 2018 Months To Years Fall 2018 - Page 36

Pierce Point, Point Reyes National Seashore By Buff Whitman-Bradley I’m sitting atop a jumbled formation of large, uncomfortable rocks high above the Pacific Ocean on one side and Tomales Bay on the other (directly down the center of which runs that geological celebrity, the San Andreas Fault), with a large herd of Tule elk lounging in the grasses nearby, countless harriers and hawks and kites hovering in strong headwinds just a few feet above the ground looking for morsels of mouse or mole, a couple of coyotes sauntering past, curious about who I am but not seeming the least bit chagrined by my presence in their front room. Lolling here in the midst of all this beauty, I feel a quiet exhilaration of the spirit and the body’s affirmation of the indisputable fact that I, too, am an infinitesimal part of all this. Sadness also comes. Whether it is from my own personal history or is the older, deeper sorrow that thrums within every one of us human critters as those aware of life’s trajectory from birth to death, I’m not sure. Probably both. I know I am sad that there will arrive a time when I am no longer around, when I am at first and for a little while an absence, and after that not even that, not even a somebody who once was and now is no longer, not even a memory. But today I am here looking down from a great bluff onto two magnificent bodies of water; today I am here in the company of birds of prey and some of my fellow mammals, in the company of stone and wind and a sky of such azure intensity my optic nerves seem to quiver and buzz. Today I am here. Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poetry has been published in many print and online journals including Atlanta Review, Bryant Literary Review, Concho River Review, Crannog, december, Hawai’i Review, Pinyon, Rockhurst Review, Solstice, Third Wednesday, Watershed Review, and others. He has written several books of poems, including When Compasses Grow Old, To Get Our Bearings in this Wheeling World, and Cancer Cantata. He was the producer of the Courage to Resist Audio Project and editor of the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War,” based on his Audio Project interviews. In addition, he co-produced two documentary films, Outside In and Por Que Venimos. He lives in northern California with his wife Cynthia. 36