Sunday, June 21, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

Canopy Tour

If it could be written
in words, all of it -
the clearing of the woods
down the gorge
wouldn't provide enough paper -
but there are so many things worth writing:

The woven nest whose tendrils
snake the rafters
that fat-bottomed bee
she bores the beams and rails

Sun and shadow mutate from
mid-day dapples
to six o'clock streaks and stripes
Regularly, the blue-jays terrorize
the robins, "Cheer, cheer!"
A cardinal, to spite its weaker song
fans the braver fire of its plumage
against which the robin's pale orange blush is shamed.

Will there be a roast tonight?
Will those broken cords be put to use -
cut loose into a crackling moonlight sonata
while we are still able to hear it
and while the woods around are still audience?

Beech twigs at daybreak
clears the palate - coffee pulls the shades open
Spatters of separating forms
evolve in God's country
the oddly mittened sassafras,
orange & ribboned mushrooms -
the companions of coal.
Animated wood smoke
tests memory's rafters -
recalls California or Maine?
Suddenly, I am ten,
with Betty on a stone beach.

Or that visit with Ben Franklin which yielded little,
But called to mind:
"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten,
either write something worth reading or do things worth the writing."
I have done so little of either lately, I reflect -
I've missed you, my friend, and it's my fault, really.

What becomes of the world
emptied of the wild and woolly?
The incorrigible flirt of birds -
their inexhaustible metallic twitters;
What song accompanied Adam's expulsion
from that first forest?
The retreating and silenced hemlocks, their crushed needles
evoke poisons and potions.
The dimming of the lanterns, the wetting of the coals...
What soft smell will be registered
by our human exit?