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.

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