Friday, November 14, 2008

POEM: Taylor's Notch

Desiccate stalks of browning corn
Like good New England congregants stand
Reserved to listen to cool October reveal her secrets in slant light,
Each stalk whispers to the other and watches me
Ascend through stained glass daylight,
While I process up a foliate cathedral aisle ,
Boots scraped hardscrabble clean, rough hewn by
Razor sharp volcanic stone,
I climb the top of Taylor’s Notch
Transfigured by the solitude,
Reformed by pulsing blood sluicing through my ears
My breath etching the smooth plate glass of cool air.
I lean into the stern steep slope
That is the mountain leaning back against me.

At the top, incendiary Autumn is hard at work,
Like the black-faced statues on Easter Island,
I am watched by everything.
Every saw-toothed oak leaf, singed lightly
Around the edges, is ready to combust.
These are the colors trees are meant to be.
The chlorophyll just hides it all, like makeup,
Covering over summer’s gluttony:
The ochres so uninhibited; the yellows so unashamed,
Sumac’s harried shades of red and
Maple’s frantic orange try to keep a frantic pace
An ocean of tactile colors yet unnamed swirls below me-
Trees dance to the music of what they truly are
Without any remorse or one single embarrassed movement.

I have forgotten the chlorophyll that courses
Through the miles of my networked veins.

What colors lie within me?
What hues nestle deep beneath my skin-line?
What truths once drained of all my wanting
Will bubble up before me here
On Taylor’s Notch, before a prim audience
Of erect yellow pine and hemlock
And the quiet song that is the Holy West wind?

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