October 08, 2007


These winter trees charcoaled against bare sky,
   a few quick strokes on the papery
      blankness, mean to suggest the mind
   leaping into paper, into sky, not bound
by the body's strict borders. The correspondence
   school instructor writes: The ancient
      masters loved to brush the trees
   in autumn, their blossoms fallen.

I've never desired the trees' generous
   flowering, but prefer this austere
      beauty, the few branches nodding
   like... like hair swept over a sleeping
lover's mouth, I almost thought too fast.
   Soon enough these patient alders
      will begin to blossom in their wild
   unremembering to inhabit the jade,
celebratory personae of late summer.
   So the task is simple: to live
      without yearning, to kindle
   this empty acre with trees touched
by winter, to shade them without simile,
   without strain. There: the winter trees.
      Their singular, hushed sufficiency.
   Again. Again. Again. Again. Again.
Now you may begin to sketch the ceaseless winter rain.

—Michael Waters

Posted by dwaber at October 8, 2007 12:14 PM