Tree Line

There is no doubt I love to walk summer trails, but there is something about the wood in fall and winter that stirs me deeply. The shadow and light play differently at the longer light angles. There is a feeling, too, of all that once was and what will be hanging on each branch like flowering ghosts.

Seed to Mulch

Dead Tree at Chatfield Reservoir: photo by Noelle

Dead Tree at Chatfield Reservoir: photo by Noelle

In grain an old storyteller’s life twists and turns. Withered like drift wood that never left home. Each adventure a ring and a knot. An audience of millipeds and the rolly polly beetle that roam the planks and hone the staff. Sun demands payment in chlorophyll and sap, while wind licks it’s length a child on a lollipop. There is no rest from seed to mulch, for even in death the performance plays on, a tale told in wood.

Dead Beauty

Dead Leaf Beauty: Photo by Noelle

Dead Leaf Beauty: Photo by Noelle

Crumbled, even moldy
Long dead
Yet delicately beautiful
As an old woman’s hands
Rubbing a rosary
At morning mass

Dry with crackles
At the grace of a finger
No more than paper
Of Earth stories
Telling now of last season

Take to hand
And it vanishes into
Pieces caught on the wind
And gone
Springs robust leaf
Now Winter’s palsied hand

Yet the scent of leaf lingers
Fecundity remembered
And growth to come
All born of this life’s passing

Doors open, green
Then to another closing, dark
The sprout and the
Discarded shell at once
Infuse a molasses mulch

Fertile is the soil of my life
And my passing
Is neither ending
Nor beginning
Just the leaf transforming
On a winter’s wind
Calling the land to Spring