Tag Archives: trees

The last warm day of the year

The last warm day of the year

The October sun rests on a loblolly pine.
Late afternoon, slight breeze. River

of leaves sliding along the street side.
I am too old, says the sun, for this: I get

up later every day and I’m tired earlier.
The pine squints at the sun’s single ring

of fire: Try having as many rings as I do
says the pine. Try living in full seasons

instead of skating above it all. Try,
just once, standing still.

March 4th


March 4th

Suddenly it’s spring. The trees say so.
They don’t confer with the cold

Morning or mountain gusts. They don’t
Ask if we’re ready. The maple says, mind this–

And flecks with red punctuations like starting
A sentence backward, all the year’s statements

With their periods, leaving language to unfurl at its
Own, slower, pace. The trunk’s shadow runs down the slope

Like a creek then rivulets of branches reach across
The road towards your porch like it has

Something to tell you, only you. But come closer:
You must get up and step into the road

To see what it means, trickling black
At your feet. And definition depends

On surfaces for the depths to survive:
Too late you see how at its outermost edge

the message in twig shapes
Crumbles across the texture of street

Pebbles, first like a word breaking into syllables,
Then slight sounds of insistence or regret,

Then a breath then the thought somebody
Was about to speak but you turned to see no one,

Then your own breath, held, while you are
Listening for its shadow

Acorns [from Vanishing Tracks]


The long winter ends when
The tree remembers he is in love.
From his many hands the leaves
Unfold and fall, the pages’
Ever changing colors waiting
To be read in wonder but
Instead in time
Gathered by rakes and scoundrels
Yet still the tree continues
To produce, he cannot be stopped,
Though the present blows through
Him in westerly gusts he stands fast
And the fruit of his thought flies loose,
Each acorn that batters the roof below
A love letter, a blown kiss, a single everlasting
Glance forgotten. You will hear them
On your own roof tonight,
In the brief moment they strike wondering
If it was you they were meant for
Then rolling on the grass or driveway
To be stomped on by the girl whose head
One fell on without saying why,
Or rolled over by the one who loves you
Driving away for who knows how long
In that fragile casing,
The birds taking the rest, only the squirrels
Understanding and tucking a few away
For when the landscape has lost its verse.
Then the snow’s white manners
Exerting months of formalities
Finally bullied away by mud and
A single sprouting oak a few fields
Away. You walk outside
And the sun is a warm leaf on your cheek
And you are beautiful and the tree
Remembers he is in love.

Nine Things That Happened In Dreaming and Waking Within Twenty Four Hours of the Last Day of My Fiftieth Year

Nine Things That Happened In Dreaming and Waking Within Twenty Four Hours of the Last Day of My Fiftieth Year

I left everything in a hotel room on my way to another
An eight year old boy rode his new bike with no training wheels

On the street I caught a blue pouch thrown by a stranger
I knew by how it settled into my palm it was a string of rosary beads

A butterfly fighting the gentle morning breeze on the hill again
and again to land on a dead squirrel and feed

Two early fireflies high in the ash tree’s night canopy
where earlier in the day hundreds of white flowers

Floated down, tiny parachutes onto new grass
The moon sparking off a tin roof like a match

My wife lay her head on my chest to listen to my heart
as I awoke from a dream of laughing

Wind Intervals

Wind Intervals


In a space under trees I can hear the wind that is not here
like a can kicked across the street by a boy still coming

or as if the act of the boy shaping his mouth to shout
made a sound before the sound of the shout

What is the word that I hear before the trees
above me shake and give the wind a momentary word

What is the sound of a loosening of leaves
like forgetting hands just before they drop

to our sides? The interval of apprehension.
The time we are alive. The boy stepping up the curb.

Common Ground

Common Ground


At my feet a silent tide
The midsummer light’s crashed

through the trees, fills the grass
recedes and foams to nothing

In the shadow of mountains the ocean
comes to me as you once did