Cunningham

A red-winged blackbird sits, watching me, his fence post newly staked, bark on, topside down. At arms length, rusty fence pliers bounce along a span of barbed wire. One. Two. Three. “Hemlock, see, twists as it dries—” that’s Cunningham’s voice, “stretches the wire. Set one post wrong-way-to and it’ll sag right there.”

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Come a day I recall Seamus Heaney and with newfound pride—my own name and that red-winged blackbird down Vernon River way.

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Seamus Heaney, renowned Irish poet, wrote the fabulous poem, St. Kevin and the Blackbird.

Pangaea

Standing.  Alone.
A yellow sky.  A shudder, grind
And hesitation of the earth.
Below, black seas heave and sigh
Against a scar of land.
Night.  Yellow sky remains.
Arc and flicker.
I breathe.  Night fades.
A shallow breath.
Acid rain falls gently.

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Pangaea: Proto-continent existing about a half billion years ago eventually breaking into two continental masses, Gondwana & Laurasia. Gondwana: made up of areas now Africa, most of Australia, India, South America & Antarctica.   Laurasia: North America, Greenland, Europe & Asia north of the Himalayas.

Hymn of the Fallen Tree

Let me rest among these giant souls that stand
where trees once stood.

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Here, greens break into blacky-blues and dragonflies
and dusts of beetle dung grow old withal.

Let me rest among the salmonberry and the tumblewood
of cotton, ash and hemlock, fir and cedar.

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And let the wind stir of pine above the fall reawaken me
in early greens and sapling dress, anon.

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Previous titled, “Tumblewood”; published 2014, The Footprint Press.

Northern Night

The road that lies below lies deep and still.
No moon to light the snow.  The sky is clear.
Alone, heads back and arm in arm— We’re here!
In disbelief— We hardly breathe— But here!

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So spills the light of Heaven into sight—
Illumined, rising, falling, shifting grace.
Upon the starry sweep of northern night,
In ribbon-folds of light and dark it sways

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Above the shepherd pine and hemlock choir.
There—  This night!  The sky!  The lights!
The stars!  The fire!
Above!  Across!  My God—

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I recall having seen the northern lights only twice in this lifetime.  The last was while driving east on an early winter evening.  I turned my head to look north where the mountains above Vancouver are lit along the ski run down Grouse.  There, and above darker more distant silhouettes, the northern lights hung in unexpected splendor.