Quote

New Born Evergreen

Wandering questions before a wooded labyrinth

Whisper, asking for a grand theory

A cannon filled with run on unpunctuated sentences

And questions unanswerable.

Yet, those barely audible whispers!

For the life of me

I couldn’t tell you who or what they said.

But that’s the sounds of trees for you. Supercilious, taller in unison without harmony

Singing together then humming as a bee swarm choir.

Orchestrating an opera of my delicate sensibilities,

Dramatic, broken crystal by the secret octave of deception.

Blindly sliding through a wooded curtain

Where roads disappear.

We’re led nowhere by maps on the night’s inky sky.

Long unbroken lines of highway rose with voices

Of ash and elm along dashes of dirt roads.

Cold ice baby blue bodies of water

Surrounded by brown paper mountains, all

Legendary but-meaningless without keys to open

Our car doors – how perceptive the parents of nature?

Seeing the horror films on the backdrops of snow caps

Screaming at mouth of the forest.

At its fang – the sharp firs shredded my skin.

With a swipe of a long arm the burly beasts took me whole.

Right down the throat of the past.

Disgusted by my taste I’m spit out

Tumbling beside the lines (as anyone’s seen in a dream )

Imagining the inconsequential creation of myself

Taped up from fragments of past particles

Pieces of who I wanted me to see and warning what you may notice:

In mirrors I’d become larger than I appear.

This moment – now – burnt by fire

Burnt up and afraid time knocks down our front door.

Standing there looking at us it sends up red flares

Hot and melting pin-sharp icicles from the eaves

Dropping off cold, stabbing the porch

As only water can – cold for an instant and gone

Alive for no reason.

In my mind I rename myself something simple, biblical: Ruth or Rebecca.

Shape my name as long as the Mississippi or

Cut it short as the Nile.

Name me Superior or after another lake

Yet besides water tricking the ground into moving away afraid lakes

Simply wait for the rain.

But in my digression

I must admit my remission…

…for then

Bullies can spit me out

Like grizzle from a

Buzzards beak for they’ve

A taste for carcasses

And a parents’ outdated tastes yet

Salivate for the stench of the dead.

II.

Is life that much better now has forgiving myself given gratitude a new name? Grace drowns in the rain. The storms, the lightening ahead, and the heavens applaud my truths in thunder. Children learn to count: one one thousand, two one thousand. Time to find safety in miles, time to find shelter from the storms? While wind shakes my bones like wintered leafless branches, I tremble from deep inside my trunk, inside of me.

The Cancer’s Tale

We wait.

All born souls queue

Up to ascend where

Unknown certainty begins

And known uncertainty ends.

We sit.

In stillness our

Hair billowing, bodies

Skin covered in ripped sheets

The bark on eucalyptus trunks,

Bent from blow back towards

The earth, arched away from the sea

Arms outstretched

As if to grab something

That’s behind them

Like a runaway a dream

Or a lost child.

I thought, “how limber”

Coats lined in misplaced trees

Searching the land

But not belonging in

This continent where

Their branches suffocate sparrows

Dead and flightless

Laying in the shade.

Let’s use those tourist trees

For lumber instead of our

Native redwoods and sequoias

Whose needle hair holds

Those human-sized

Rotund trunks where

Locked inside the bark

We saw off gifts worse than its bite.

We drink

Clear cool water running

Down our throats.

Stopping to read

Pages of gold red fire leaves

Unbound. We drink

Like the trees

Sipping through tiny wells, the roots

Magic fingers flip the rain in the sunlight

Tricking the sap into the trunks turing it into blood.

The ax wielded by

The mind thirsty still

We read —

Pulp fiction

Dedicated to the willow

Growing in the fringe

Of the yard where

Someone’s mother planted

Her husband or sister

And we see her from the rotted old wood swing

Moored like a ghost ship

Out of time, out of our sites.

We travel.

Returning from the east

Heading out to the desert, west

On the horizon where warmth sinks fast in winter.

Hurry back to the coast.

Now it’s late and dinner’s cold

Shivering very quietly with my hands on my lap

Sudden and without a sound

Slips the ship sails, Tattered between the shadows,

over the curved earth

We finish.

Bookends holding up

Our bodies on the shelf

Related to no one

Left to right.

Packed up and traded

To clear the way

Leaves fall, memories

Raked up and bagged

Hauled away.

Nicely mowed lawn,

Honey.

Spring bulbs pop

And remind you of

Someone you knew

Or a character

From a book

You borrowed for a while.

What’s on your heart today?

Leave the heavyness
On the floor beside you
And let air pour in the door slightly open and without loss
Tell me what weighs on your heart.


Nature herself laughs and claps
With thunderous air. Leave your cares
Beneath the eaves and breathe
Inside a forest where you litter
The needle bed with despair.

Allow a friend to sit a bit, just a spell,
Without knowing they’re too close - uncomfortable, hidden in your space.
You know that strange feeling better than black ice.
Unexpectedly, a hand lifts to your cheek
Feel the warmth of surprise.

Who’s to say you didn’t get enough done
Or too few fed today. Fruitfulness forgets to smile
Productivity can’t stand your tanned cheeks
Bright with the sun’s slaps and pinches
Punished for every hand not wrung with worry.

In tombs with spelling errors in the epitaphs
Written in alphabets from the class
We skipped that spring when nothing
Not the rain or the tilted statues
In our overgrown gardens mattered.

What’s on my heart? Did you question
Or simply forget to ask you as you implied
I might dance away from this house,
Where in my delight I fed your soul
With the leftovers of the moonlight.