Monday, March 28, 2005


This is not necessarily a good poem, but it is a true poem, in the sense that a memory or sound may ring true to its hearer. I was its hearer, once, and invite you to listen.


A dead ash marked the back of our property
In the summer it was barely visible from the house, but
this was where the raccoons lay, where the raspberries ended.
This was where a burrow path stretched between the dust and distance
like a secretive cornfield on a dry afternoon. Only the wind
presiding nearby, uttered vague pronouncement and fled.

We walked almost daily between the woods and the lands
of a disused farm, between fallen foundations sequestered
amid swells of sumachs, and fields fast growing into thickets.
And above these fields a hawk, rising on elliptical currents
veiled breathing shadows with its own and closed
over all these windswept moments like a swift fog.

In summer before rain the trees gathered and spoke
as the wind ran and I ran through goldenrod and grass
unleashed by longing into the night. We called to the storm
from the edge of a field, from the seething darkness of a cedar thicket.
On these nights the wind pulled at things buried deep below skin,
instants shouting to be felt, and freed by longing
to relive the moment, to fix its meaning
and tunnel to the core of myself.

Down behind the cedar thicket, and
beneath the hollow drumming of grouse
is a sound like soil falling from an unseen hand
Or an undercut bank slipping into the stream below.
There is no path there anymore. And those nights
and those days are long gone, and everything with them.
And nobody knows, when the snow falls
and the day dies its silent death
what it was like in those absent woods.

1 comment:

Bernita said...

This is powerful and very beautiful.