managing

we whiz along, or grind
jaws tight with effort
to be good and right and
happy

until we explode—
all the mess to clear up
exhausted

screaming and crying and chaos and blood
nearly always
the loom of news vans

we are no more than animals
we fear

while juncos hop along the brick
cat-scattered
squirrel descends fence
walnut bigger than its head
tight in its teeth

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Basic Tree ID

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

*

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

*

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

*

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

on wanting to share “To Earthward”

a day of sudden hard light:
we’ve grown so tired
watercolor gray, so
with each visible sunbeam
we anticipate snow melting
on the verge, imagine the bee-
house warming and all green
pushing from the other side,
touch to touch, still seeking
wisdom’s communion
but tree-tough, immune
to frost, to blossom

You can read Frost’s “To Earthward” here.

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