Hither Come Hither
Still turnstiles framed by a window the red alders of Willapa Bay [ Then, a red squirrel, my notation of it as if it were an upheaval in daily drifting— ] the limbs dangled their catkins as I upswung to them from within [ A history of a wet afterbirth and held in the arms of my mother ovate my notation of it formative for me— ] The signal from branches in bright green coats, loud in the vivified hollow of the swale in a site of gladness (as this gaze would have had it) morning becoming excessively noon the gladness as I waded through it bathing in forest shinrin-yoku in Arashiyama with her in twenty-first century style and in other such claims of the bourgeois traveler [ Why will I not name her why will I not speak to her? I want to spare her no I want to feel I spared her this historicity and if I explain the gladness I will harvest it the new sustainability— ] also the throngs of phones in front of tourist faces [ Sudden emergency warble in the alder— ] [ Then, a robin panned into the plane of glass (my relentless notation of it) flailed off and submerged into the alder saplings— ] [ Then I shocked to a finchsong— ] And I was back to Blake (safe ground) from a near-linnet’s song ripped from itself into this alien, human, distanced, tribal ritual, convey it or to channel it vatic The composer near me said there were three forms of listening: the sensuous plane, the expressive plane, and the sheerly musical plane, but but we preferred it scaled into the diatonic with no chromatic alterations so that much was missed Blake said I’ll drink of the clear stream—he would not sing— and this was the grief: the fish of the sighers’ stream were fish caught within a thimble-sized drinking glass dumb fancies Or was it the decomposing fish of Agassiz, finally described? [ Then a green humming bird floated before me my notation of it— ] [ What is this false history? what I is this false history?— ] My alder leaves are serrated and here comes meta phor my use of the window as a frame my subjectivity spored into the air between our limbs lodging into evergreen porousness swelling through the rains into a soft blanketing moss-future We want time to have happened before we did but not after we did the forest was here for us to arrive within [we paid our admission we paid to feed the deer ] The red alders on the edge of the continent will hear the shallow breath outside the mouth of the creation without us, a bombast torn into the plane of silence as the shelf slips at last into the eustatic Pacific we distance ourselves from our bodies these storehouses of bloodless meat erected on feet and whatever is made of alder is alder Yes now unlatch the lock from this gland morning’s sap into an instant amber thought leaked onto the lichen bole hatched through the window
Copyright © 2018 by Richard Greenfield. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 14, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.