Palinode (Texas, cedar, misery)

Palinode (Texas, cedar, misery)

More than repression, more than fate and the captive idiom. More
than denial. More than the juniper’s red wind, the grackles’ flocked
effervescence. More. My friend lives on clay and I, on stone. How
to express stability’s process, the jurisdiction of pollen? The warbler
suffers no choice but that of extinction; it requires. It breathes. It
feeds, it sings and yet we come to excision. Destruction, with no
thought to consequence. Wet clay expands. Stone is constant.

Stone is constant but harbors no thought to permanence. We are
its mineral, pressing for wisdom and the eternal: to gain entrance.
Look closely. The juniper berry is a cone whose scales have merged.
I seek space and find habitat bounded in half-truths and careless
talk as the north wind broadcasts microspores throughout my
neighborhood. Inhale and know the power of propagation. Helpless
in its path, we think only to escape.

We think only to escape and instead wear misery in the attempt.
Crusted eyes, raw throats. Diminished patience. Our neighbor
chain-sawed his female cedar years ago, but his discomfort continued
unabated. The Juniper Hairstreak butterfly overwinters as a chrysalis.
Golden Cheek Warblers nest among its limbs. I flavor food with its
berries, relish the shade in July, the fragrance, year-round. Celebrating
coexistence, we sneeze. My saw lies still.

15 thoughts on “Palinode (Texas, cedar, misery)

  1. Pingback: a grumpy gift: Palinode (Texas, cedar, misery) — O at the Edges | hands in the garden

  2. I loved this. Especially the last line.
    Call me a hippie, but every tree cut is one too many for me.
    And the only way us humans might have is to coexist with all
    other inhabitants on Earth, especially the ones that predate us.
    Really great poem. I had to reread it a couple of times.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find myself anticipating as I read your poetry, Bob, alert to the juxtaposition or turn of phrase that will surprise, open (and, inevitably) delight me. You never disappoint; thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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