Shrouded in branches under the rhododendron thicket, I remember
A time when I did not second guess at being brave.
Peering through a looking glass
My world tilted on the edge of
To create is to die a thousand times as an imposter,
Reincarnate as a master.
Beheading the strawberry flower
early in the season
to yield more fruit, later.
In moments of insanity
real logical progress happens,
masked in spontaneity.
The blue jay swaddling seeds in its crop
Mechanical bird with singular purpose
Notes a mechanical song,
Lives to forget--
For every acorn he caches in rotten trunks
Or clay soils, with abandon
He gives life to the forests by inadvertently,
statistically, giving one seed a much greater
chance of ever becoming something
than the rest.
Does Hope cause immunity?
The trees breathing vapor
Exhalt against the forest skyline
Intangible matter, dense, blends the cold
up from the ground;
the edges of a silken cloth.
This time of year is Dampness,
the heat dissipates and
drops the flower petals' clammy tissues
Roiling shades of ochre.
This time of year
Seeds are Summer Dreams incapsulate, Breaking free, drifting overhead
Rust that smells like blood
blooms over the countryside.
A second glance back--
Barren are the bones of winter.
I’m beginning to notice
how lonely I've been lately
Every breath is a steady unassurance
And with it,
Sunken splotches on my face
Freckles the color of tree bark.
Golden hue on the backs of my legs and tops of my shoulders,
An oil canvas gathering depth
But fall is here,
life transitions away from the heat
Even the Earth tilts away, shielding its skin
My body touches the ground and feels an echo
As if emptiness could speak
As if depression was cognizant enough to stir the grasses and whisper to me
Encouraging the deep draw inward into hollow vastness
Peeling away the fibers and stripping me down
Pointing up into the infinite blackness and saying,
Quickly pushing through the years
My mind is a casino shuffling machine
Rapid fire, every card is
Every face bleeding through
Anchored memories, subsurface stillness
Reality is the crooked blade--
I now realize
I was always looking for
Everything that wasn't them
Different hair, different eyes
Why are they all blurring together
Old slides on a movie screen
Staring back at me.
Vindictive, hostile, blaming.
I was scrambling for the ideal of novel,
New and transposed.
Enough to break me down into molecules,
Toss me into atoms
Throw my essence against the starstuff and dark spaces between--
But there is no ripple effect.
No unseen unclothing me.
The faces keep bleeding through
I keep wading, riffling, sifting through the sands of time
Between and all
I came to,
Slowly and softly
To a world full of corduroy ferns,
Wet woodland floors,
Emanating the insects and must of
Dripping leaves of wax,
Glossy shellac of fruits and buds
The murmurs still me.
I find myself enshrined in the dessicated tree trunks,
The blankets of mosses spun like drapery
over the hollow dryness of changing seasons
Tufts of winged seeds break away
As browning stems slip back
into the soil.
I am ripe
And the forest
My skin is crawling
from my bones
to join the orchestral decaying
of the moist,
Once you let it in.
It crawls into the empty spaces
Fills the cracks and settles.
It constructs webs that firmly snag
Other thoughts near.
Those inky fingers are impossible
To eradicate once it spreads,
The mind begins to look like a
Blotted out by the shadows
Of unwelcome solitude
Within the soul.
Autumn blows against winter,
The in-betweens of transition.
The underskirts of gold and ruby
Shedding from the Earth and skies
The woods, half-bare, half unguarded,
Almost fully vulnerable
To the terminal winter.
Some deciduous trees hold on
To summer's carbon,
Leaves clinging to the naked buds--
They call it marcescent,
Unable to abscise completely
Even when the rest of the forest
Has moved on
Left dried and clutching
Holding on all winter,
Through the biting frost
Against howling nights
When the world is dark and lifeless.