At the Edge of the Soccer Complex, Lynchburg, Virginia
Versions of a corner. Red flag sticking out of the earth
where painted lines on the grass meet. Past it
chest-high chain link fences knot into a right angle
before the ground drops twenty feet down
a scrabbly bank on which lines cannot be drawn.
Past the parked cars an uneven stand of poplar and pine
waving like a tired family. Are they greeting us
or waiting for us to drive out of sight?
Then the foothills
where our preferences end.
How is it that mountains always seem to appear
by surprise? or a big word gathering quietly
in our ear, a thing without corners
growing inside a thing without corners,
a soccer ball knocking over a styrofoam cup of coffee
in the way a day may be suddenly knocked on its side
by a force that seems utterly foreign to it.
Crouching to save what’s left
I see the soccer field lines
as cave drawings of wordless heights fallen
on their sides and flattened, flag pinned to the top.
Driving Down the Mountain After Dusk
Dusk is finally gone but it has left a mark on the dark green slopes
like pencil has been rubbed over everything
You know there are trees there pines and oaks maples others
but now all you can verify is that it’s a hill with the disposition
of trees or a tendency towards treeness but it’s too dark
to prove the trees are there and we’re moving too fast
following a line we can’t see the end of but which we know
ends before daylight
Mountains Poured Over Mountains
A cloud shadow crawls across the bare mountainside
touching every tree. Small clouds seep and spread
along the ground like water, large clouds drop
heavily like whole trees being painted suddenly black.
One, then another, backlit by the trees still in light.
Funny to think of something bigger than a mountain
pouring over a mountain, its own peaks in constant change
enveloping what seems so changeless
but is really two images in today’s mirror.
Funny to see how quickly it spreads then leaves,
like something huge suddenly not remembered.
Yet it was there. Pushed by the invisible hill of wind
And over on this peak the sign of an old inn groans
and the paper darkens beneath my pen.