Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Reunion of Hearts in Ashland, Oregon

Once again, sweet Camilla has agreed to let me post a photo of a brief "coming together" of friends and room-mates at the University of California many years ago. I wrote a Sestina for the occasion and read it to Lora and Dodie in a coffee shop in Ashland, Oregon.


Smear of gold, green and gray--fields, odd towns, Lora,
And I'm thinking I know your face like mine, but wonder
Mile by mile what you look like after all this time, Dodie,
And I sort of know, but mysteries thick as clouds
Tend to veil our mountain minds, yet when I hear you say, “Kaydi,”
Above the rail-chatter, I leap to “now” on this train across the years.

I can hardly believe it has been almost fifty years
Since we ate Jello in that Canyon Crest house, Lora,
And both of you calling me Kaydi
To the point that it made me wonder
Whether I lost my given name in those desert clouds
In Riverside studying art history and laughing with Dodie.

And you were the French-speaking biologist, Dodie,
Morphed into world traveler over the years,
Winging through time like darkening clouds
And perhaps writing the other world traveler, Lora,
But probably both absorbed in your lives, which makes me wonder
Why I sat in an office for 30 years, and no one called me Kaydi.

Money, and on the other hand, it seemed too soft a name, Kaydi,
That you both proffered on me, but mostly Dodie
At first, I recall, and it makes me ponder—no, wonder—
How it stuck over all these non-corporeal years
And that term sounds like Dr. Jean Boggs, Lora,
An old woman who disappeared in Quebec as if in clouds…

Further connecting all, I have since drafted a book about clouds
Which have been in my thoughts much more than “Kaydi,”
While also writing many poems and sharing them with you, Lora,
But not as much with the rarely-at-home-biologist, Dodie,
To whom so much is owed, conversations during the school years
Such as clarifying the Grand Canyon as erosion that had made me wonder…

Now, how to put all of this together, I wonder?
Such haze between times, far more than billowing clouds
Yet nothing is really shrouded or buried over the years
Because they softened my heart when they called me Kaydi,
And I called her not Dolores, but Dodie,
And not Lordie as once suggested, but her real name, Lora.

Soon, time chewing up the years and again the sound of Kaydi,
Feeling awe and wonder, with Shakespeare in the clouds,
Meeting in Ashland, Oregon, my dear friends, Dodie and Lora.

Kay Weeks, Revised 9.7.10 in Portland Oregon.
Next stop, Ashland, Oregon for the reunion and
two plays (Pride and Prejudice; Throne of Blood).

Thanks Camilla, all!

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