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Tim Bellows


At Eighty — Looking for the Sun

You're out roaming the field,
glad the wind can't
sweep sunlight aside.

Bundles under one arm.
Nothing but pictures.

are less,
are pitiful lies. But you've seen the dance

of shorebirds on tiptoe,
holding wings out and up like
white cloaks that cry out. And so,

the real pictures come. And so,
you spin one time-this,
your rickety way on the fall field.

Gold light seeps out of the trees-
the branches in brown bark, agile,

singing thin thirds and fifths back
to the wind's root.

You do the same. Care
eddies forward with carelessness,

the unthinkable air of you that keeps
evening the score as, miles away,
tides brush the shoreline sands

smooth, and you think of touching the chin
of a child writing fantasy stories that

start wind moving after death,
tales that set faces in a farmer's
crop-burning smoke. It drifts

through chilly trees and you see
that pictures too

are lies. You spin clear
of arcs and angles.

On a field of darkness.
In your own expected downpour
of light, you're

a frozen-white stick in a field of empty stalks.
Another star

comes tripping along,
finds you, sweeps you aside.

Your collected photographs
scatter and fly south.


Tim Bellows, with a graduate degree from the Iowa Writers´ Workshop, teaches writing at Sierra College in Northern California.  In November 1997, his Huts Under Smooth Hills was nominated for the 23rd Annual Puschart Prize.  He continues to publish rambunctious, compassionate work (in some 85 journals), to gather a collection of poems (Dreams of Long Grasses: Poems In and Out of the Body), and to polish his collected essays on poetry and perception (Toolroom for Dreamers).  He recently published, with Kerby Smith, A Racing Up the Sky.
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