I’ve heard it a million times.
By 1920, Alexander had logged every tree
off of Alexander Mountain.
It was his mountain, they were his trees.
He cut every goddam one of them down.
The donkeys he used
to sled them away
were wooly-coated, long in the ears.
None had names. Some turned wild.
Buddha, this must be what you are:
a vehicle, waiting to be rented.
I find spaces: among the newly green trees,
blurs of insects and seed down, drifting,
and, in ruffles over the ground,
Solomon’s Seal, unsealed by the breeze.
The pine warbler
seems happy. Or sad.
The happiness goes in, or the sadness,
The Worship of a Particular God
Before I open my eyes, I bring you as my offering thoughts of spring.
I hope you get a clue: smell the air.
A needle at a time, pushing winter up the stairs,
change is coming over the pines.
Do you hear me thinking, this should do it...
Right then I open my eyes.
The tent, covered in snow.
I shiver all the way to the outhouse.
Plus quartz, plus mica, equals granite.
Ask a lichen what these minerals taste like
coming apart on its chemical tongue.
No patience like its patience.
The oxygen in this mountain
is shifting towards the blue of the sky.
A molecule at a time, the sound, passing
through the canyon: her car.
Ted Lardner‘s writing has appeared in Poet Lore, 5am, Arsenic Lobster and The Normal School. He is an alum of the Colrain manuscript conference, and his chapbook, Tornado, was published by Kent State University Press.