Saturday, June 1, 2013
Four Midwestern views
I. Every so often, an ivyless tree:
they might seem barest for wanting that scaling,
but the birch is fairest to me: its skin,
like yours, my dearest, a papery white
and black pepper into cream.
Or so I believe, for nights like whispering
ivy, nights like obligatory fig leaves,
kept true colors unseen.
II. A tree, trunk split
like a rod for finding water had been planted in the earth
in the shadow of a crystalline cellular tower --
a rigid and uncompromising metal structure --
its branches like languid rivers bridged
in diamonds of darkened ebony and alabaster:
a tree like the evening before, but already
there comes, obscuring
the sun, the morning after.
III. A cloud foregrounded in passing: a dragon,
its massive jaws open, its right nostril smoking
in anticipation of air turned to flame,
back arching and bearing its squamous way down
on a knight -- like a lightning
strike to a tree --
who is found all shaking, his mail gone to flickering
scales, in the salivary
rain, of leafy
IV. "What you don't see is her riding the dragon."
(Found and finished 1 June 2013, in pieces on a drive from Rochester, NY, to Chicago, across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. The day had a high albedo -- it was bright but clouded -- and so seemed conducive to reflection. The quotation constituting the fourth 'view' is due, with gratitude, to an astute reader of poetry, with a specialty in such metamorphoses as might take place in [stories about] the heavens and the trees.)