02 August 2016

Poem-A-Day #155 : Wood (Part 2 : Invocation)

This is a real long poem. You can find Part One HERE


Wood (Part 2 : Invocation)

There is a breeze and it smells like fire : I'm keenly aware of fire the desert demands it : last night there was a storm and the lightening struck all around the Jemez and all I could think about after the burn in my retina was if there would be smoke in the morning : the signs of fire are all around us the dryness of us the parchment of our skins :

And skin is a kind of bark : the old man selling ristras on the side of the road has skin like an old leather couch it crinkles and has become creased forever in the corners where so many asses have sat on it and this is maybe an odd way to describe skin but it's true : his ristras also look like old leather except they are red :

I walked into these woods for a bit before we met : honestly I've been here for years : the fallen tree that crosses the path a little ways back is where I've sat and eaten my lunch every day for over a decade I count the blood-red flowers dripping on their stems along the path they are heart-shaped but remind me of rain drops :

Drops on the old deck : a swelling occurs they say you must seal against this swelling that the rain brings that it must be sealed : the spots spread from the bell-shaped center and the darkening radiates until the entire expanse is the color of water : in my knee this takes the form of a deep ache that takes days to work itself out in others it becomes death knocking :

Only some people begin to look like tree bark and leather as they age: others become gauze : the ephemeral nature of their skin allows them to walk through walls : ghosts before ghosts : I am reminded of the end of that cartoon David the Gnome : he and his wife wonder into the woods and become trees after saying goodbye to their fox friend Swift they die on the mountaintop :

In many cultures you leave the old to die on the mountaintop : again don't worry I'm not here to kill you you will have to make that choice at your own time : there isn't smoke today though so I don't know why we are talking about death : a friend lost a dog yesterday she buried it today and sat for hours with a cat staring into space thinking about fur :

I guess our nature is to project outwards to the end : a tree at the end of its life will stop producing fruit it will perhaps leave its limbs bare in summer as a nod to its coming winter : I imagine these trees as naked people wondering their towns and cities daring anyone to comment on their clotheslessness :