POETS Day: Still Life with Epiphany

A small house among redwoods

My first home in Boulder Creek


The scent of blackberry sage tea
Like a whisper unheard
Steals through the house
Borne on cool spring invading through opened windows:
Plum blossoms, mold and forest, the fresh tea-like woodiness of redwoods.
In a moment
The space these walls enclose, shaping my restlessness, the air I breathe,
Reshapes itself
Now even silence is different,
As though I do not hear you
Not because you’re absent
But because you did not choose to speak.
Then a corner slides away revealing a suddenly empty chair
In an empty room slashed through with sunlight,
Bereft of ebon-silver curls,
Graceful neck unbending from a book,
And warming eyes reflecting what I once thought lost:

This poem was written around 1998 or so, just before Deborah moved up here from Los Angeles (to her own house) and brought the long-distance phase of our relationship to an end. Oddly, although our first houses were both surrounded by redwoods (the illustration is of mine), our present house has none on the property at all. No complaints; oak groves are sunnier by far!


About Dave Trowbridge

Dave Trowbridge has been writing high-tech marketing copy for almost thirty years. This has made him an expert in what he calls “pulling stuff out of the cave of the flying monkeys,” so science fiction comes naturally. He abandoned corporate life in 2007 — actually, it abandoned him — but not before attaining the rank of Dark Lord of Documentation, a title which still appears on his business card and serves to identify clients he’d rather not work with (the ones who don’t laugh). He much prefers the godlike powers of a science fiction author (hah!) to troglodyte status in dark corporate mills, and the universe is slowly coming around to his point of view. Dave is currently laboring over the second edition of the space-opera series Exordium with his co-author Sherwood Smith, and looking forward to writing more stories in that universe. He lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with his writer wife and fellow BVC member, Deborah J. Ross, and a tri-lingual German Shepherd Dog responsible for three cats. When not writing, Dave may be found wrangling vegetables—both domesticated and feral — in the garden.


POETS Day: Still Life with Epiphany — 2 Comments

  1. That is quite lovely, and oh, what memories that photo brings!

    (Though do you really want ‘breath’ at the end of that line, or ‘breathe’?)