Basic Tree ID

put your words away
birch leaves are gone
redbud silent in cold rain

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how brittle the red pine needles
even now in full green
next year’s cones waiting

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one day to the next orange leaves
scarlet berries note the difference
in sky, a human smile

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the poster says hug a tree
to lower blood pressure
feel striation or smoothness—also listen

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brown marmorated stink bugs

as good as any nature center, your office
window. they touch striped antennae. just one,
in the beginning and how they got between
glass and screen and on the second story—
now you count four clinging up down right left, slow
with that deliberate creepy invasion intent.
they have the tell-tale spots and stripes
you can see very well with your hand-lens
of course they fly, but why? you keep watching

IMG_0322

in a dark place

you make the god you want, not of gold
or even paper, but green-warm earth—hail
it as something gifted from the blue.

what is your church? but this slate blue
mountain, bare slopes, trees brushed soft gold,
solitude, song; or fall’s sharp wind, rain, hail,

snow silence. eyes closed, face lifted to hail
pilgrim thought. no room for guilt in sky’s blue:
if the soul lights, burns ember-gold—

I am. (gold-hail prayer in this blue)

Thanks to Christine for the three tritina words.

on this falling edge

tell your autumn self, this fountained day
of wordy unmusical frustration is nothing
to regret. ask your winter self, who will make
work of the past? what is your spring self
but an ideal to grope for, in sympathy
with the young? you let those hours go.
(see the spiders already moving in, rose-hips,
crickets?) no need to reinvent or be clever
in your acts of love. your voice—broken,
burning, sleep-rough, shrill—will be here,
a sun-pledge.

On another crimson-gold day with leaves falling through sunshine

it is good
how things shrivel
dreams, one by one
diminished, discarded
merely achieved
this drawing down
with the season
(how the insect ceases
flailing under silk
succumbs)
as one who will not say
now i am content
if only—
not telling you
nor leaving
some void
how would you know?
an absence
of absence
you would still find beauty
or something close
enough, not needing
more words