Saturday, December 13, 2008


This isn't really a new post, but I figured it was a good time to pull together these posts from Sept/Oct into a series that reads in the correct order. Enjoy.

Fall in the Garden


Apples are strewn across the mossy lawn
Their fleshy cores rotting from the inside out
and you hold one, still, in your hand
It was not apple season, but it is now.
Look at the bite you've taken
The apple, jagged tears from the red skin
exposing the torn white flesh,
falls from your hand.
Hits hard the ground,
rolls, trying to right itself.
Leaves trace unseen paths to the dirt below.
Sharp air pricks our naive skin.
We stare into this vast transforming world,
wondering where to go now.


Walking backwards,
our eyes on home,
we have kicked up
dirt clouds
behind and in front
creating a haze
through which we cannot see;
though if we could, we
would see only
a starless night,
clouds looming overhead,
broken branches at our backs,
our own hands
reaching for home.


We are too naked, too tired
Too weary, too estranged now.
This dawn has come so
unlike those before.
Soft warmth and cool walks in the dew
have given way to fearful blares of sun
Flashing in our eyes and leaving us
too near, too hot, too still.
It cracks dry ground.
It parches our tongues.
We are too late
We are too lost
So we convince ourselves
it is the sun that has changed.


When I close my eyes
dampen my ears to the
sound of the birds feasting on carrion;
When I focus on the wind
blowing the soft, fine hairs of my face
I can remember the garden.
Sweet honeysuckle and warm sun
replace the sulfur and ashes
I am upon a soft bed of grass
with you nearby.
Flowers bloom and fade,
only to bloom again overhead.
Sap pops in the fire and I am back
across from you and far away.


"Where are you?"
I cry into the orange wild,
Burnt plain, scabs of tree
"Where are you?"
I cry into empty river beds
mud etched into dry rivulets -
a city now forgotten
like the vanished garden of my
hollowing memory.
"Where are you?"
I cry into the canyoned wild
but my words are snatched by the wind.
They swirl in an echo
returning no answer but mocking
"Where are you?"


Once new
we have grown
familiar with pain.
Our feet our hands
covered in blisters.
Our aching backs bare,
pressed against each other
in a suffocating darkness.
The fire has died to ashes.
The babies have
finally stopped crying.
Beyond me in the brush
a snake slides
between tall grass.

We have nothing now
but the sun and
the earth and each other
for bearing the crops
and bearing the children
and bearing this sorrow
on our shoulders.
And hearts to bear
the hope
that the sound
of leaves rustling
on another tree
in a distant garden
will lead us home.

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