in the forest of the fallen trees
the spell for calm is the spell for chaos,
with no angel to bless the light,
no artist to command the ruin–-
no third space appears between root and drift,
no bard recites the stewarding poem,
but lonely friends revert to their ponderings,
and salty winds carry the caws of sea lions––

in the forest of the fallen trees
the leaves glow red with poisonous oils,
and the piney labyrinth, large in its life,
decays along the walking paths––

deer without caution or solitude eat lichen,
birds without the urge to defeat time break sticks,
and what some call salvation, exhausted,
wiggles free from grace––

in the forest of the fallen trees
each stump is a suffering seer
praising common origins,
unconcerned with splendor and promises—

each stump lectures urgently
about war and sorrow, pronounces
what it feels like to be chosen for falling,
then lurches into alien meditation––

hoarsely into the shadows, you voice your questions,
you stare into the veins and the frame begins to move,
you climb through the things you gaze into,
your weave of grays, your rag-ended trails––
photographs and poem, point lobos, california, 2013-2014
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