Friday, April 11, 2008

Poem of the Day - April 11

Today’s poem is from my friend Louie Skipper. It is from his upcoming book, It Was the Orange Persimmon of the Sun, which is due out in January 2009.

The Seminary Trees
for William Seth Adams
by Louie Skipper

What would they need to know,
the trees
preparing the last words

spoken against our kind

long before our common birth?
I wonder over the wisdom of oaks,
the slender sounds

urged by the greatest trees.

All my life I have looked up to them,
holding their hardness like cellars,
perfecting their dissatisfactions,

then, looking down,

I enter daily life
and take up my poverty of shadows
guided by the sun

the way the oaks are by the evening breeze.

What would it be
to speak with the trees
through some gift bestowed upon us,

these trees that are carving the wind’s instructions?

What would it be
to follow them
the way one might follow a scar

back into its wound,

and to hear,
shaped by their voices,
the call of our own names

transparent in their motions,

whipped right up from the ground?
What reply might we give the trees
looking up into them,

their shapes putting words in our mouths,

the inquiry of water oaks and sycamores,
their chronic darkness
rustling our human, our corrupt and lovely form?

From the upcoming book, It Was the Orange Persimmon of the Sun, Settlement House, January 2009.

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