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Grateful and Greedy for Grass Underfoot

a poem about writing a poem about a tree

Photo by Maksym Tymchyk on Unsplash

One Hundred Days of Gratitude. Twenty-four.

No one told me the trick.
You can’t write about a tree
unless you’re in its shade.

A good one anyway.
A true one anyway.

flights of fancy
heights and depths of holy humanity
all of it and us and more
can be deftly described behind closed doors.

Odes to unrelenting love can be written safely
on the bus in your head
or boozed up in bed.

But a mountain bends for no man
and neither do its words
and the sound of saccades can’t be summoned up in New York

no matter how much absinthe you drink —

all the different greens
become one when we look away.

You can’t hear the wind dance through them in your head
and photons in flight don’t light creations colors on fire

quite the same way
in your mind’s eye.

Until today,
I thought nature was a muse
meant for only the most natural among us, now

I see.
I had to be swimming in it to even try
and put a drop onto the page.

And somehow she’s still
as ineffable as the life that she made.

You can’t write about a tree
unless you’re in it’s shade—

and even then




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