Saturday, December 19, 2015

where the chickadees mourn / the loneliness of singing

I make a path in the dusty woods
where the chickadees mourn
the loneliness of singing
without an audience of believers
I make a path so that I might belong to them
these lonely villagers of the deep darkness
in the shadows of the firs
they spur their songs among the icicles
they slip on the boughs to land on the hands
of strangers     they delight in the gifts they are given

I make a path in the dusty woods
where there is peace and kindness only
the snag offers shelter to the lichen and the mushrooms
that dip their fingers into the interior
the claws of the rooting saplings dig into the grasses
that mat the clearing   and everywhere silence sits and rocks
in the mesh of clematis vines that once were blue in the summertime
the hollow poplars row between the aspens
and the dainty footprints of the thistles still mark the snow route
meanwhile a woodpecker bangs the drum of the wooden spike    where the raven perches like a black hand


I make a path in the dusty wood
inside my head    the path is dribbling ice from the sky
where the network of the branches shed their days of frost
and the silver wings of the moon descends
surely there are diamonds in these feathers?
or could these be the stars studding the outstretched wings?
the moon flies off into the clouds
and the night lays out the bed of silence by the river
the nodding cattails fall asleep and the dusty grasses wash their faces
with the paws of snow       soon I will make a path and put the apple tree
by the corner of the thistle field          the apple tree will be white with flowers
their petals will fall to the slowing river flabby with the fall    


I make a path in the dusty wood
that I have loved to walk in for years
I will put myself there watching a doe with her fawn
I will have them watching me as I wait by the side of the forest
I will have a rope of wood that crosses the river where the robins
are playing   I will make a dam where the beaver is crouched
I will put the muskrat under the cattails and a silver dart
of a minnow under the still cap of the river
I will make a world inside my head 
and populate it with living things     and when I am lonely
I will understand that none of us are ever alone   not really 

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