Monday, April 26, 2010

Illicium & Idesia

And I will make thee a great nation,
and I will bless thee, and magnfy thy name...
To thy seed I will give this land...

Illicium names the allure that thrills
Leaves into believing their sweet perfume
Like the biting spice that licorice distills
In dulcet essence gives anise its name –
Called like Abram’s call until harvest calls
Irrevocably his rebranded name.
Under God’s tongue, germinant syllables
Make shift Abraham from bloom to blossom.

Idesia’s own blooming multiples
Determine its blossoming silhouette
Each April, halving leafy lobes in two.
So Abram’s old faith would exfoliate
And winter out his laden panicles
In time to father berries from his bough.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hyacinth & Hyssop

And he took the wood for the holocaust,
And laid it upon Isaac his son
and he himself carried in his hands fire and a sword.

Hyacinthos, loved by god, by god slain,
Your fatal bruise tattoos your blushing hue.
Ai! Ai! fell the tears of light the god-sun
Cried in lyric grief – inscribed upon you.
Image of grief, divine yet human,
Nearly touching beauty with death, this true
Test of trust suggests what faith’s own stamen
Has loosed: in pure bloodshed the flower grew.

Hyssop, this bitter blood is your bouquet,
Your bunch of green, your clustered, thirsty green,
Soaks the gall so fathers' sons are spared the stain
Suffused by tinder’s tendered holocaust.
Offended nature's stayed hand at noonday
Perspires your aspersions - too weak to cast.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hazel & Holly on the Barren Heath

...out of Ur of the Chaldees,
to go into the land of Chanaan.
And they came as far as Haran,
and dwelt there.

Hazel, branch of God’s chosen, splits and bends,
A forked crotch with folksy water-wisdom:
Zigzags not lost, but leashed to loosened hands,
Engaging water-divining baptism -
Lost beneath the sands that first parched Adam.
Holly breaks out there, though; the barren lands
Offering greens and reds to Jerusalem -
Likely emblems: what life wants, blood demands.
Yahweh spies such wizened blood in Abram:
Heath and hands awaiting plow and hoe, his seed’s
Event becomes the first steps of faith from
A place called Ur, the fatherland of gods,
To further fields. There, ripening Canaan plants
His hopes like roots; his veins with vines’ descendants.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Goldenrod & Gagea

And therefore the name thereof was called Babel,
because there the language of the whole earth
was confounded.

Goldenrod gauging spring’s early roadsides
Ores its idol from a mountain’s mother lode.
Leaning language’s tilted tower, it fades
Down to nothing as its colors corrode.
Errant wanderer, always too far afield,
Naming greed’s grammar first bloom’s attribute,
Relying on the wind to seed the yield
Of April’s tongue once March has fallen mute,
Dead set to die. But grace’s garden cold frames
Gage all that grows by frost’s futility.
All that mankind builds upon death's proud mounds,
God talks back to - Yes, his green thumb confounds,
Espousing yellow star of Bethlehem’s
Announcement: lily’s spring nativity.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gleditsia & Grape

Now Noah,
a man of the soil,
was the first to plant a vineyard.
For M. L., in vino amicitia
Gleditsia, your trinity of thorns
Lash out from trunk and low branch to brandish
Engagement with wilderness. Each cluster warns
Deer and hare off. So the world would wish
It found your shade without a penalty
To touch your textured bark, partake of your pod,
Subsist as Christ’s cousin on your honey
Imbuing locusts with a taste for God.
Ararat’s slopes were thus as glad to cede
Grapes their vines, a weave of older testament
Restoring balanced thrift with vintage bliss.
Arbors throve thus on thirsty sediment –
Provided Noah quaffed enough to guess
Exactly what the taste of blood would need.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

French Marigold

While the earth remains,
seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter,
day and night, shall not cease

French marigold, corona of the day,
Recall how spring’s word went long unwritten,
Emerged as scribbling winter cribbed away
Notes on ice. Your precious punctuation
Corrects and checks the season's paragraph.
How then do you mark the transitory phrase
Making March idle in its Ides and laugh
Aloud before your maternal sunrise?
Recall how Noah’s spring -the primal one
Insured that God with every season would
Get a fair hearing, numbering spring in turn.
Obliged to time, His count of suns to burn,
Leaves to turn, turning seeds and burning wood,
Dismantled endless night with aural crown.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fallopia, Fig & Fir

...and he sent out a raven,
to see if the waters had lessened on the earth.
It flew back and forth
until the waters dried off from the earth.

Fallopia, named for gross anatomy
After the fact – bridging life's livid impotence,
Livening ensoulment's act – your proclivity
Lends a haphazard creeping to garden wall and fence
Of spring. Your frantic surface search for trellis post
Plays out with your taproots across winter’s cold war.
In battle after battle, March was all but lost;
All budding branches become the sun's cover fire
Figuring such reach as Noah’s empty hands had breached
In figs abridged by pigeon’s beak while raven ran
Geocentric skies. Receding seas redefined
First mountain firs poking skyward. While black wings found
Irrevocable wandering, covenanted man
Rooted his seed where bark and branch had first been beached.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April and Jamie Wyeth

Whan that April with his showres soote
The droughte of March hath perced to the roote... --Chaucer

Down in the ravine, the first flush of spring
Is always brown, as the ice-carbuncled ground
Breaks itself down, roils and sifts, revealing
An old oak’s tense, textured system of roots,
Like a cut-away illustration of sound
In textbooks, tying itself in thick knots
Of music and silence escaping beyond

The limits of either. In the ravine,
The waters rose like a fortune to come,
The kind that blows in with the rain; between
The fox kit’s noisy eviction -one night
In early spring – and the skunk kittens’ home-
Less situation, the sheltering thatch of root
And dirt, without a family, begins to roam

Outside the shade of topsoil, thick masted
With a trunk, each windy branch, a spar.
Below deck, the clay rusts, sapphire-hued,
Gripping deepest roots, clinging til they creak,
Spoiled with the rubble of fossiled char,
As if to let April’s sea of clouds break
In juvenescent waves over oak, larkspur...

But to say roots have a system is to say
Rain is symmetrical or Shakespeare
Is grammatical. Either way,
The words don’t seem to dig down deep enough,
Don’t seem to tap into the roots of nature,
To take hold of her mantle, the very stuff
Whose month rained and sunned the earth for Chaucer’s

April showers to engender May's subjunctive flowers,
And root declarative nature to her powers.