Charter of the Forest

swallows discovered first the green passage

swooping from sycamore to birch, dense growth

marking a playground for squirrel chase and horseman

call; turnstiles come a century down the common path

we’re walking still, along the way to free the land

from tillers and their capital plan.


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I stare at orange

Dusk was slow, a languid reluctance

To become night. Rather the cadences

Sang on, the sound of a garden, not

Just growing, but connecting in complex

Rites of passage so that sun shone boldly

From a tiny orange pansy. Discarded

In a tray of $1 rejects I gave them a go

And they responded with perfection

Flowering on, alternating yellow and orange

An orange so intense that my gaze was stilled.

Then she appeared, maiden of light

Moon-orange dusk multiplied, a thousand

Pansy-stars each catching day’s long end.

I stood, transfixed by this metamorphosis

Of city to meadows, fields, drifts, insect

Reveries meandering along grassy nooks

And watched four swallows glide by,

Trapeze artists of the luminous sky

Bellies thrust below fanned wings

Until they vanished, out of sight.

Still night held off. I too stayed out

Knowing time was short.



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