Friday, March 18, 2016

#Read a #poem #Friday

BY FRANCINE STERLE
rain frog          thorn bug          tent bat
along a broken mosaic    a spongy    ever-dwindling path
soaring trees    woody buttresses    their massive twisted fins
lofty crowns    shoulder to shoulder    climbing lime-green
vines    restless palms    one strangling plant    clinging to
choking another    a discontinuous canopy of branches and leaves
impenetrable    alive and teeming    tangled underbrush
the deeply shaded soil    lumpy roots    writhing
across the forest floor    low-growing ferns    seedlings
struggling for light    jewel-colored hummingbirds
insects sizzling and clicking and the dripping water
trickling into the tiniest crevices    steamy
claustrophobic air    a dazzling bellbird    lost
in a shaft of sunlight    a golden eyelash viper
sinuous as a vein on a broad-leafed frond    flat worms
land leeches    walnut-sized spiders    goliath beetles
camouflaged butterflies on dead leaves    parasites    bees
leaf-cutting ants atop glorious white lilies    everywhere
gripping    climbing    twisting    floating through the trees
stilt-like aerial roots    the mouth-amazed pitcher plant
buried larvae    fruit-eating fish    the perpetual battle to adapt
the ruthless drive    to survive under a punishing sun
what grows    bursts forth at astonishing speed    then decomposes
to be reabsorbed    so much unknown    unfamiliar
unnamed    but before long    the trees seem the same
the rocks    every bird track    who would dare think of such a place
who would dare        construct one         of his own imagining
and be utterly abandoned    in the middle of it all
if to be lost is to be fully present    if confusion becomes
the only boundary    and then    the decision    [to divide space
until a direction is created]    only a madman would begin
thought is its own cage    the mind    already anticipating
the first step    deciding    every turn will be coupled
by disaster    and perhaps    some bestial creature
crouched at the center    crying    waiting
for our hero    our everyman    our Elijah wandering the earth in rags

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