afternoon poem, february 1, 2016


The grain in the wood

Is a map; a history

of sun and rain

of wind and strain.


These markings are mysterious; inscrutable

But unmistakably a language; a record

Lines and spaces, colors and curves

That mark seasons and events.


Is there some interpreter,

a singer, perhaps

Who speaks in this unknown tongue?


This board on this wall

Once a chestnut tree

How long ago felled?

And how many years before

Did it stand on some mountainside

Who knows where

What do these lines say about a summer

A century ago

And the falling of rain

Before the great war.


Copyright 2016

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