Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lost Maples State Park, Texas



Swarms of patterned sulfur: black orange-eyed petals, immolated on sun-heated high-speed windshield and grille. Blue-black flickers on purple thistle by ponds green and deep in rust-stained white-cliff limestone. Rivers carved incessantly from old seabeds, risen exposed high into calving sun. Caves blink in darkening light, open mouths astonished, exclamatory. Teeth hung from edges of riverine stalactite-stone, vine, aerial moss, soil sinking down, root-bound, rippled, conclave of gathered bindings. Scatter of summer-snow on black stone under spreading maples, tiny leaves bunched in pallid exuberance.

wing and field of wings,
bright black echo of sunhide—
cloud of butterflies

Huge sycamore fans, smooth green-barked tall stands: arboreal greeting of shy acquaintance. Clustered waves, small hands of antique isolated sugar maples from a time before time. No need to seek a horizon: it moves underfoot, bounds up trails and strenuous spectacles, dives naked into greening forest pools, where small mysteries and tall deer-antlered gods watch laughing bathers, sun-turned and intimate, tell secrets to the wind and light and echoing cave-cliffs.

geisha flutters fan,
red thread of summer desire—
dead maple branch

Words these dolomites know as well as any ear-filled tree. Insect hum and cicada shriek in dappled forest naves, white boulders and green lichen interwoven. An antlered prayer, forest-whisper, a disappearing wind-tremor. A thrumming wing, stirring the breeze under these trees, could summon anything, any god, any gate into return. What must be renewed but these amber rivulets, these cyan pools, these blond ledges.

butterflies, dark blue,
flung into cyan skies—
portals of heaven

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