Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Pines trees thereabouts sneak up on you --
wandering lost martyrs bleeding warm amber.
They have sworn vows of tall rough silence,
but they're always there, needling shadows.
South Arkansas hides a shadowed small city,
leaning to the west, shoved by Highway 67,
which is breaking up, forgotten to weeds --
a vegetal jack-hammering of concrete hopes.
The old town square has been boutiqued.
The people hang on with fungal persistence.
But you can't cover up decades of mill smell,
and time can get bored enough to leave.
Those who never left have dreams at night
not like a cat, so where do they go dreaming?
Those who left have a cat's-eye perspective
and claw through old layers of visions running
inside shadowed cities becoming new realms.

It's almost telepathy to know of dull dreams.
It's almost psychosis to be gone like a cat.

And pines trees have a way of telling sermons.
They are bark-robed monks living as parables.
They gesture from silences and morning mists
toward a ritual of going and then doubling back:

"You must become as unreal as our gathering
to know anything at all of gods and of poems.
Roots must go somewhere to lap up dark tears.
Tread softly like a wildcat but go into gleams."

Copyright 2011 -- Tim Buck

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