An ancient with a sword of flame guards the heartwood
at the center, where the oldest trees commune
and whisper tales of snakes and thieves.
A weeping man walks the branches alone
and calls for his lost children. At the fringes
of the forest, foxes prowl like Philistines;
they snarl, rage and plot, but every one is caught.
None may feast on the fruit of the garden.
Fog clings to trunks and undergrowth,
like slow-exhaling ghosts come to rest
in this wilderness, this giant’s nest, this grove
of woods between worlds. Leaves soak sugar
from the stars beyond; the roots drink deep
the syrup of the soil, they extend through
the cosmos and void: planets hang from their ends
like drops of dew. Here, you and I look up
and hear a grief-drunk call. Before the fall,
we walked the branches, too.
Response to: Sunrise, Sun, by Steve Roden
I Stayed for the Gentle Sun
The soft light streams by; un-seeable glory
bare to see. For momentary beauty,
my fragile eyes are shown patches
of the flying light parade,
before the glorious one stops
to give his unbearable stare.
Being only human, I warp his form.
Although I would call him a smoothie,
and hail him with a fan,
the gentle sun smiles
with his winsome face,
and lets me know there is kindness
in his unrelenting pace.
His fierceness is a sprinkle
to the poor in sight who know him by his crumbs.