Three Poems from Brush Arbor


Brush Arbor


say trees
without trespass

say poet
without ease

say with
without me

say see
say free

without me
no dream

no day
no seem

without seem
no say

no stay
no think

say pass
without white

say skin
before bright

before bright
before bleed

O drum
O speed

if teach
if near

if bless
if clear

if speak
if wish

then branch
then seal

then heart
then wheel

then light
must light

must pierce
must cleave

must forgive
must weep


Brush Arbor


My ancestors worship
in the woods praise God
knotted they lie
overhead in the forks
of great trees watching
as I enter, a pilgrim
to light lamps
& ask
& ask


Brush Arbor


The law says
               I may enter

              the veil

of branches

my family buried
                 in leaf litter

beyond my line
                    of sight

right here, on land
              not long planted

in birches
              some of the fastest-

glowing trees
                 in North America

dozens arranged
                 right here, as if

to overwhelm
                with leaves serrated

like gold surprises
             & vertical growth

one to two feet per year
              in optimal conditions

an old family
             graveyard, with

handmade markers
              even older than

this particular
               stand of birches

somehow here
               not against the law

not mentioned in the law
               at all, these birches

somehow all
                arrived exactly

where these graves
               are planted

as if someone
             had scooped out

the precise handful
              of seeds

to cause some graves
            to disappear entirely

from the mind
              which is

a grave thought
              to be sure