trestle turn around
72 degrees/72% humidity/dew point: 65
Hot. Humid. Even though it was sunny, I don’t remember seeing my shadow. She was probably hiding in the cool shade down by the river. A squirrel, rustling in the brush, darted out right in front of me and then quickly ran back into the woods. At first I was listening to my audio book, but around the time I reached the Welcoming Oaks, I decided to turn it off and listen to my breathing, the traffic, the gorge. I counted to 4 over and over again. ONE two three four ONE two three four. Without headphones, I also managed to hear the loud cracks of acorns hitting the asphalt. Crack! Crack! Not one landed on my head or near my feet. And I heard at least one goose honking up above–were they confused by the weather. Is it summer or fall or what? As I write this I hear Scott annoyingly pointing out, “Technically, it’s still summer. Fall starts on September 21st.”
I copied this poem into one of my notebooks last year, but I don’t think I ever posted it on this log. I love how the oak tree says to only eat fruits and vegetables.
Elegy with Apples, Pomegranates, Bees, Butterflies, Thorn Bushes, Oak, Pine, Warblers, Crows, Ants, and Worms
Hayan Charara – 1971-
The trees alongside the fence
bear fruit, the limbs and leaves speeches
to you and me. They promise to give the world
back to itself. The apple apologizes
for those whose hearts bear too much zest
for heaven, the pomegranate
for the change that did not come
soon enough. Every seed is a heart, every heart
a minefield, and the bees and butterflies
swarm the flowers on its grave.
The thorn bushes instruct us
to tell our sons and daughters
who carry sticks and stones
to mend their ways.
The oak tree says to eat
only fruits and vegetables;
the pine says to eat all the stirring things.
My neighbor left long ago and did not hear
any of this. In a big country
the leader warns the leader of a small country
there must be change or else.
Birds are the same way, coming and going,
wobbling thin branches.
The warblers express pain, the crows regret,
or is it the other way around?
The mantra today is the same as yesterday.
We must become different.
The plants must, the animals,
and the ants and worms, just like the carmakers,
the soap makers before them,
and the manufacturers of rubber
and the sellers of tea, tobacco, and salt.
Such an ancient habit, making ourselves new.
My neighbor looks like my mother
who left a long time ago
and did not hear any of this.
Just for a minute, give her back to me,
before she died, kneeling
in the dirt under the sun, calling me darling
in Arabic, which no one has since.