After a move from suburbs to mountains,
mantle residents emerge from boxes:
a carved wood chicken,
a square head hammer,
a sculpted bat made of copper,
a kerosene lamp,
driftwood that looks like gurgling water,
a white feathered owl.
All come to rest on top of the mantle,
a rough slab of reclaimed wood with knots and cracks,
supported on two square rocks
set in a fireplace wall
made of blocks of field stone.
Silver glitters in sunshine on the wall,
outside enters in.
The sentries on the shelf have come home,
they face a dairy farm across the road
and connect the house to the land.
sunlit grass in a wind dance,
stinkbugs gliding on afternoon heat
looking for a way into the house,
tobacco drying in the barn,
corn stubble warming the fields,
crisp yellow leaves falling,
silver rod waving on the roadside~
a fall constellation,
I am the Blue Ridge Mountains,
grass snakes and chipmunks live under my rocks,
my eyes, blue as springtime, are Forget-Me-Nots.
my ears, corn cobs with silken strands
gather song from the the land.
my nose, a tree, inhales sun and rain.
my backbone rests on the timberline,
gray rock exposed to open sky.,
I exhale hoar frost and ice in winter.
I host an army of plants and animals,
grow wildflowers, rhododendrons, and bushes.
seeds, dead flowers and weeds wash down my paths,
oregano sprouts next to a wildflower
after a shower that drums on boulders
and sinks into blueberry bushes.
weeds decay on my flanks,
my soil fog damp.
wind brushes my leaves
and juggles the yelps of critters
that call me home.
Men try to tame me,
my falling timber
splits in a scream,
silence fills the woods.
Date Published: February 18, 2017