Since, or Sense
—after Astrid Preston’s “Kings Canyon”

From below, flight
eclipses source of light,
a revelation separating
hollow-boned wing

from perched branch
broadcasting fragrant
pitch molecules of red fir
and lodgepole pine.

The eye seeks to hold
and recognize patterns:
Great Blue Heron,
Red-Tailed Hawk.

The ear tries to register
Corvidae chatter (Crow?
Scrub Jay? Mockingbird?)
gauging tone and timbre.

The shadow tells me
where to look.
The echo shows me
where to listen.

Light, sound, all enter
the brain on delay.
Everything we know
has already happened.


Matthew Woodman teaches at California State University, Bakersfield. More of his writing can be found at