Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Two Trees

1. Wintering Beech

Tabernacle of green light green shade, summer space
of beechen green and shadows numberless,
that's now but a bony show of itself, all its
ornaments and nest-hiding glad rags
wind-torn and let go where silence opens
its stony arms. Heart without a prayer, voiceless
at the edge of what ails it; a raw illumination
in the near-dark this bleak midwinter weather's
making. But what a life might be going on
and on in there, inside such deep-seated, great-rooted,
passing wonder. And isn't it hard not to feel
a small heart-flutter in chill this morning,
when a wren sings its story from that seasoned, hopeful
hideaway within: something
about the past, as if all happened only yesterday?


2. Ancient Birch

The great white birch in our neighbor's garden--
once a robust, bird-thronged young one, then
middle-aging through seasons of elemental fire and ice--
is now the old-age image of a desolate, defeated, still
upright warrior: breastplate battered to bits, arms broken,
a torso that, antique as it is, wouldn't so much say
You must change your life, as offer a little homily
on the text, This is what it comes down to, all flesh
being grass, yes, but being a tree, too, as it loses
itself piece by solid piece to time and weather, all
the seasonal vicissitudes it's shone through
for decades, year after quickened year composing
a summer home for finch and cardinal, where robins
flashed, and flickering chickadees loved to hide,
that's a barren being now with only the one future
looming: that unblossomed whole body slowly leaving.

--Eamon Grennan, here

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