Within the horizon of gabardine
hills, raku-
fired as if forged in the kiln
of georgic Georgia mid-
July, the trees halloo Tallulah
Gorge, velarium & an event in
themselves, gouged by blunt per

-sephones of crimson & of green
-ache, wasabi, hen
-na, Fanta, ferric, gren

& a few miles south
off 328, in Tugaloo State Park,
a beach that shouldn't
be there         is, the lake now
8 feet low, & fishing lures
& sinkers & bobbers are
snagged on roots of the
oak've eroded, & mica
speckling reddish clay where
one can walk beneath an
orphaned dock
are a trillion mini
mirrors among the mullions
composing, composting the bank,
to show the singular, macular
sun what it looks like—severally



You say wind is only wind
& carries nothing nervous
in its teeth.
        I do not believe it.

I have seen leaves desist
                        from moving
although the branches
                      move, & I
believe a cyclone has secrets
the weather is ignorant of.
                           I believe
in the violence of not knowing.

I've seen a river lose its course
& join itself again,
                  watched it court
a stream & coax the stream
into its current,

              & I have seen
rivers, not unlike
                 you, that failed to find
their way back.

                    I believe the rapport
between water & sand, the advent
from mirror to face.

                   I believe in rain
to cover what mourns,
                     in hail that revives
& sleet that erodes, believe
whatever falls
             is a figure of rain

& now I believe in torrents that take
everything down with them.

The sky calls it quits,
                        or so I believe,
when air, or earth, or air
has had enough.

               I believe in disquiet,
the pressure it plies, believe a cloud
to govern the limits of night.

                          I say I,
but little is left to say it, much less
mean it--
           & yet I do.

                        Let there be
no mistake:
        I do not believe
things are reborn in fire.
They're consumed by fire

& the fire has a life of its own.

Related Poems

Roanoke and Wampumpeag

Child, entering Ye Olde Trading Post, takes the pegs upon the walls 
For trees, fingers the beaded doll in buckskin dress, a moccasin, 

A square of maple sugar maple leaf, small imprint of a fingernail 
In its clear window. She wants the Minnesota charm in green, 

Six of ten thousand lakes in silver raised, Babe the Blue Ox and her 
Mate. REAL! CAN OF WORMS! a label states; another, on a bow 

And arrows stapled into cellophane: APACHE ARROWHEADS, 
AUTHENTIQUE. Dread of parents, parked, smoking, in the lot. 

Piecework of the quiet shade. Piecework of the whoosh of trees 
Blowing beyond log walls, adults murmuring over turquoise rings, 

Low radio, woman propped with The Making of a President 
Open in her hands. The child calculates the thieving odds, balks.
A brother, suddenly. Come ON. The dollar buys four old-tyme sticks, 
Swirled barber poles in green and brown, horehound-hard and stale, 

Each a member's of the family, their car on gravel moving out, trunk 
To traders and the totem pole, behind the ghastly, grinning cow.