A Poem for Friday

“Tree”

by E.D. Kain

I can feel it like some dragging tide
or a slope, the green mood sliding back,
slipping toward that thick black cancer,
that sense of decay. Fallen autumn leaves
on a cold summer day. Beneath
my two feet, the colors seep
down into the wet dirt. The pavement
cracks, weeds pushing it apart.
I can see the future of civilization
there in the dandelions.

My toes are roots and I am
a birch, swaying naked. No wind
today, nothing to bring the clouds
but the clouds came; gray slogs slogging
along across the firmament, a high
highway of sky, pavement. Crows
congregating in the buttresses and pavilions
and dumpsters of the world.

I can see tombstones in the tall grass.
But I am a birch and I cannot cross
the lawn.

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16 thoughts on “A Poem for Friday

  1. As it relates to modernity, well done. A negatively spiritual celebration of a telos apperceived devoid of eschatological possibilities. The curse of the modern.

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        • Bob, here’s where I depart from the heaven-is-real epistemology: death is beautiful and inevitable. The fact that things must come to ends is what gives things meaning: The line “I can see the future of civilization there in the dandelions.” illustrates this; so does the Catholic idea of Lent, so does much of Buddhism. “Hopelessness” and the “impossibility of immortality” are not equal. Knowing that it is my destiny to die and be no more makes me want to leave the world a better place for my children and my children’s children and all the good people they know.

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  2. ” the green mood sliding back,
    slipping toward that thick black cancer,
    that sense of decay. Fallen autumn leaves
    on a cold summer day.”

    I dig the internal/near rhymes here. Well done overall.

    Slightly different than this style, but you should check out Michael Robbins (http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/poetry/2010/04/12/100412po_poem_robbins and http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/poetry/2009/01/12/090112po_poem_robbins)…He’s one of my favorite contemporary poets, precisely because of the inventive way he uses rhyme.

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