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(2080) Requiem for the Trees - Gibb

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  • Sam
    Requiem for the Trees 1. Blow Down Thunderstorms the other night with wind shears And lightning: one pure braid of current And then another—that absolute
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 9, 2013
      Requiem for the Trees

      1. Blow Down

      Thunderstorms the other night with wind shears
      And lightning: one pure braid of current

      And then another—that absolute carbide
      Running to earth, slamming the circuit-breakers.

      Two trees around the corner toppled across the wires,
      Sparks showering the branches.

      Trees in the park as well uprooted in a swath,
      Leaves already wicking off the sap.

      I climbed among them this morning, stunned
      As always by the scale of that stillness,

      The century's worth of time ticking from them
      Like distances through which the vast herds fell.

      One great unearthed wheel loomed before me,
      Seven, eight feet high—

      Clumps of dirt in the root-hairs, wattle-and-daub
      From which the popped cords hung—

      The whole ball strangely glowing, as if the light
      Were something immanent and still abiding there.



      2. Dutch Elm

      My neighbor's been at it again today,
      Rappelling among the branches of the blighted tree,

      Rigging a block-and-tackle above where
      His chainsaw passes, the huge sky streaming through.

      Even leafless, even the sand-blasted gray of driftwood,
      It's stood sentry in our alleyway.

      Now, with the ends of the limbs lopped off,
      It looks like a patient after the first surgeries,

      The sky like afterwards with the alcohol and gauze.
      Busy, he is happy, having found his way to mastery,

      Managing the blight, the loss of all that greenery
      Into the usable thermals of wood.

      He reminds me of those settlers, circa 1850,
      Climbing the masts of Indiana's last bur oaks,

      Trying to sight the ends of the emptiness
      To which they'd just come,

      And failing that, plunging onward with their hymns,
      Wreckage trailing behind them.


      - ROBERT GIBB
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