not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Monday, March 28, 2011

the maple and the sugar shack

everything is a surprise,
every damn thing.
trees, their lines,
the light that passes through them,
the light that does not.
do you know that at the base of a tree in the snow
a hollow melts away?
i considered this the other day,
the tree's heat.
i wanted to touch that tender and vulnerable spot
but i felt it was too intimate.
i was uninvited.
and too, what would i receive as such a taker?
i would receive less in the touching than in the consideration.
yesterday we passed an unassuming field of maple,
buckets to their lips.
we stopped and i approached the fence.
it was like i was witnessing an orgy,
not sexual, but an intimate and slow giving.
alongside the field was a short squat sugar shack,
the chimney trailing smoke.
i imagined the interior of the shack was snug against
the cold, unforgiving bite of winter's last.
i hoped the man or woman inside sat quietly


  1. the camera
    a hand that doesn't draw
    too much attention
    when stroking the pale
    caressing the soft branches

    giving witness

  2. Deep dark contrasts out our way. Think I'll go tap a tree.

  3. hey, rosaria! thank you for finding me back here.

    ollie, yes. do it. wonderful. and lick the tree too. i laugh, my step father tapped poplars the other year and my daughter, as my daughter is, licked the sap as it dribbled out. she grimaced. but i think next time i am near enough i will lick the tree too.


  4. "but i felt it was too intimate.
    i was uninvited."

    i can understand that. the trees are a close group. they don't really need anything we can bring. they don't need a lot at all. they give us so much more. so much they can teach us. there's a tall, peaceful pine near my house. every time a look at it it reminds me that we're all safe from beginning to end; not a damn thing - if you'll allow - can happen to us. how's that for a gift to give someone? what can i possibly give in return.


"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))