Autumn

October walk in the park

Chill wind on my face, I pull my collar up
quicken my pace.
So recently, summer’s blooms, fed and stroked
by the sun, heat exhausted, splayed and leaned
the way bodies on a beach let limbs drop
this way, that way, nothing holds together,
no symmetry or defined edges.
And shadows, soft and low, barely formed
emerge early and late, lazy as the full-leafed days.

Today, sun and sky are in mighty collusion
flaunting their strength before winter knocks them out.
Done with the scintillating reds and yellows
in the woods, now entire trees
lie across my path, startle me – shadow sketches
charcoal grey, stark trunks long and true
Their gauzy leaves shiver before they drift away.

Crow flies above, her shadow is a black cross
marking the earth for winter.

Continue reading “Autumn”

Sky-trees

“There are three stages in a mountain pine beetle attack – green, red and grey.”
B.C. Ministry of Forests, Beetle Facts.

Will they puff into nothing these ghosts of pine
that haunt the forest now?
Scarab-like crystals, amulets,
decorate the bark after trees bleed sap.
And boughs wilt brown
then flare – orange! Fire’s
simulacrum, ineffectual blaze
before mountain-side spectres loom
ghastly, powdery grey.

But scattered across this view, white patches
glint from the tops of wasted pines
like kites taken by the wind
and caught; like beacons
but more solid than light,
revealed as each one lifts: bald eagles,
bright heads pull their bodies
as their fingered wings carry them
toward sky-trees.

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In various ancient mythologies, ‘sky-trees’ are the immortal counterparts to earth-bound, mortal trees.