Tag Archives: maple

April Evening

April Evening

In the sweet air we want to take off our socks
And the song of the grass is softening

In the dark something moves slowly across space
Even the wind is taking its time

The silver maple’s a month early getting leaves
I feel that way too — for each heartbeat that flies from me

Tonight there’s a silent starling waiting in the walnut grove

Thoughts in Early May

Thoughts in Early May

I can still outrun my children
but the race has to be very short

or very long. And the middle space
widens every day,

We drove out of town in early spring
to visit a friend of my daughter

whose family makes church organs
among the folded hills of Virginia farmland.

There the metal is boiled and poured
in a long flat trough, so thin it can

be rolled into the pipes that channel
air into faith-appropriate pitch.

The cows leisurely await their doom
in the fields all around.

The sharp shinned hawk flies low

across the field and alights on an old post.
The family’s house is a crossroad of winds–

every stiff breeze in the valley seems to force
its way toward the house, from every direction,

speeding through foothill and gap,
funneled by finely ill-mapped roads,

reaches their yard finally as a constant gale
ripping the voice from trees and shrubs as we stumble

to the side door. My daughter’s friend
is used to it, she shouts from the porch, it never ends.

I think it is all the winds of the world auditioning
for a chance to flow through those pipes

and into the shadows of stillness
and be heard as something straight from God.

At home it is calm as a confessional.
The library across the street is closed.

We always have books to bring back,
and we always find them when the library

is closed. The silver maple next door
is so covered with English ivy it should be dead

but it has bloomed again this year,
enough to make the blue jay invisible.

I recognize his pitched query as others recognize
in the church organ the vowels of God.

I hear, in my own breath as I stand on the porch,
that same fierce longing as those winds

to become somebody else’s voice.

from Spring Songs (12)

from Spring Songs (12)

12.

Midnight. In a corner of a room
a few days away, a half century crouches.

In the dark the corners of the years round up
certainty into the smooth black mast

against which direction flaps without words,
a trunk removed from its roots.

In the morning it is the maple and its shadow
unwinding along riverways of air and light.

The maple is old but the leaves always young,
the hours of the year, the half million

minutes through which we extend and end,
define the canopy of entirety itself by the shape

of what we miss. We shed time but are shaped by it;
wine on a quiet night, before crickets.

springsong12_2

Another Reason Why I Wish the House Next Door Had Not Sold, Though It Is Still Abandoned

Another Reason Why I Wish the House Next Door Had Not Sold, Though It Is Still Abandoned

Out my second story window I would see great branches
flowing from an unseen maple’s trunk, striding on the air

to the roof of the house next door.
A month ago two men climbed the tree

to the roof. I watched them slowly saw, saw away
anything they could reach. The new view’s an old metal roof

snow sliding down its creases, winter’s white sky
and a single wren on the tip of tender branch up

where saws could not reach. I used to see squirrels,
a dozen in an hour, traveling branches like highways;

now while I don’t see anything I still hear them
in the gutter over my own window.  But I keep looking

where they used to be: the deepest view an empty one

Mid-Autumn Figures (Moon and Maple)

Mid-Autumn Figures (Moon and Maple)

 

Moon

Stone in the sky
tumbles through centuries

of clouds  smoothing out
absence with its presence

Maple

Just past their peak, wind-lifted
and let go like a child flung off a swing

higher than they have ever been
Meanwhile on the ridge line the trees

link arms and begin the walk home

novembermoon