A Cargo of Green Hearts
I recall the day I gave up being a tree
and became a man a hundred years of
dreaming drunk on earth the daily lifting of
the sun light as a balloon and releasing it
the sole occupation of standing
an anchor for the chain of the sky to spin on.
then the whispering like mice: to grow
faraway eyes to tend a bloody
heart. I don't regret the shedding of
bark more than I do clothing before the
taste of your kiss, your face an oval in
the center of my world of which I am
no longer a center, for when you are a
tree the whole word moves around
you and when a person you are moved
by the world. I'll admit I was disappointed
that a leap does not constitute wings
that one could dive in and still drown.
I wanted to be everything that truly moved
bird and fish and lover but in the end
got one and found it enough. But.
even in the house that we built of my
old bones even in this bed we wrapped and
rolled and knotted in I have often
stared through the window in the owl-
silenced night at the shadow of branches
spreading stars in their thin fingers and recall
for so long I said nothing was nothing had
no name but Here. it's just me remembering now
and again when I put a finger to my lips
and lovingly breathe in everything
I once breathed out.
listen to what they will tell you
the earliest birds of morning
and latest birds of evening
the ones who start and stop before the
rest of the clocked world starts and stops
the in-between your own breath
the single drop in the well of hush.
the world is masoned by stone
upon stone and dis-masoned stone
from stone every day every moment
the constant building up the constant taking down
how we deceive ourselves into
thinking 'This Thing' instead of 'This Space'
'This Body' instead of 'This Heart'
our heads are sad scaffolds
but not your legs Varahi, twined about mine
you move like a tide erasing bed, house
-- and who needs a poem? I would rather
be ridden by you than a thought
your breath in my ear, First Breath
your dark eyes, Good Night
your lips this kiss like dawn like dusk
tide, tide, birds, birds, always flying away
always coming back.
no tree grows straight it's true not even those mathematical pines that rise like beams
and hold the sky at ninety degrees, all trees twist like corkscrews as they grow
wound like wrung bedsheets the spiral often too subtle for the jackleg mortal eye
each and every one no matter the species turns itself tightly into the air
with a kundolini spin or perhaps perception you lie and it is only the universe which turns
and the trees, our tall and quiet neighbors simply shift to face it, observant as sunflowers
tracking the sun. no matter for us humans, who burn and plant and nail board to board but
sometimes I see it in their lengthy dead after the bark has been shorn by buck-toothed beetles
the imprint of time, a muscular spiral, a turntable upon which the needle of creation scratched
round and round the xylem bones and I think how shortly we the people live how
few turns the circling sun promises us how we pirouette once twice thrice before the eternal
dancer lets go our tiny hands.
Poems are posted here when I'm ready to share them. I often don't title my poems. The date you see above the poem may be the date it was posted here and not necessarily the date it was created. To see more, click on the Archives below.
Unless otherwise noted, all content ©Paul-William Gagnon, Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs license.