A tree is falling down
somewhere, always – the bark
perhaps shed – no matter
whatever the state – all
trees fall at some time – or
decay takes them slowly
the point is – all that noise
all that lost feeling calls
out louder than grass growth
louder than the mushroom’s
creaking love of all life
ingesting – and bright plants
– they swarm in a dancing
wind and send small sermons
out from damp petals – out
in the clouded darkness
out in the beading rain
every single gold day.
There are arguments made –
witness the ant’s rebuke
to the flat earth’s respite
witness the air breathing
the whole flotilla in
and with a breath again
this shout of all star-fall.
Billion years refute still
longer still years – it’s mad
considering the dark
to look at this strong joy
at all this cafuffle
A plane beams – a car moans
a shed settles – notice;
while all this can be changed
there is still the moment
when you unwrap a gift
hear the rain’s soft shuffling.
Left cold house and broke hastily through
We pass for a day over poster perfect fields
And sun charges with us, freeing the air.
My friend snatches a deer from the woods grasp
And chatters lively for an hour about its litheness.
It fell to us to unlock this path’s puzzle
To spell hieroglyphs upon the land’s patterns
To leave nothing else but time behind us.
Like the moon frosting the evening brushes the darkness
A Castle falls out of the forest
Meets us as we crunch around a corner:
It carves its ancient signature into us.
This must have let us forget, as we left there in darkness
And stumbled up the stone-ridden hills, slowly
Eerie at the earth crop’s murmering whispers.
A little light that fed the surging darkness.
Then, chancing the elder hunting’s track,
We saw histories of the boar’s foraging
Burned stars into memory as we shivered
Listening to Orion’s shadow, under the frosted roads.
Terror swims inside me like a basking shark
It’s my sullen wake, it fills the air behind
As I’m drawn along suburban stone.
I see the wild forgotten as a dream is forgotten
I know I dreamed, but what was it?
I stand on a hill and see the city
Draining down its valley plughole
Soft scars left in the grading air.
I see this city move as a scrapheap moves
Slowly downwards, churning the earth.
Waiting for a bus I wait too long
And my figure, mistaken for a statue
By some routine artist in a tatty book
Is selected for the top of the heap
Which moves, and the wild falls further.
In a shifting forest, in the past beyond thought
A foraging girl picks out an acorn
From a dry skin of leaves, her breath
Marks the air. She leaves it
And the earth hurtles out from beneath.
Unnanounced in the cities spring up
Unattended eddies in the flow
Hiding quiet and held in check
By walkers whose solitary paths
Attain the force of stone.
And from time to time, erupt
In a long awaited silence
In some valley, some alley in the back
Where aerial trees cling drinking
The living city rain, and biding
A silence which, like a sigh
after a long day’s work and walk
after the bags are down, tea’s brewing
and you raise your hand to your eyes and rub
and the air empties itself of talk
So calm descends in the sun’s heat
And the cars, though everywhere
Are no longer here, just for a moment.
And you breathe freely, unassailed
By unnoticed constant tack and tear;
The cold stress of a city.
The Tree says “Down! – thee
seeds and sapling usurpers
“I am the root and I the purpose
“Know my bark, it keeps me strong.”
And murders them with shadows long.
The saplings and the seeds chant –
“Up! – up the republic of growth
“Of varied ideas, and new things here below
“Until the wood is filled with variety
“Old bark can stay – but we’ll have our society.”
The forest is filled with kinds of desire
But all must drink – and bathe in the sun
The far spread shadows are death to some
“Until the dark dawn of some great forest fire”
Some hope to spark, to get underway
The falling, the ashes, it tends to gestate
Grand ideas of a sunlit glade
Though dappled light seems the best some can await –
Born as they are with stunted branch
Or lack of structured niche or dance
They tend to fall back on the law of the light –
that when shadow is cast, those in shadow must fight.
Either starving dark amongst the shoots
Or taking as model the climbing vine
Or cutting the old bark down to size
Or grouping and starving the heartless old roots
To scatter light out from the leaves of the few.