The pale trees without
A damp sky begins its rest
Summary birds cant, then alight
Light drawls an exacted ground
The oblique horizon stamped through woods
ferries others, wintered deer
Wind contests each thing
Issued from distant wastes
A small rain was today
on the wintered forest.
Its screen of dark branches
the medium telling the custody.
The fields too are a chorus
dispensing each nature who lasts.
So interred now I see the immediate face
before me, a tidal of space sated,
the crest of the trees thinned in rigor.
The species of winter that came –
the trees are a brake on the field.
Afternoons housed entire dusks.
This was the gait of the land.
Its visit wrestled in stands of birch.
Starved thickets catch the robes trailing.
In half light gray deer resume –
a glut of the season revived
the soonest wastes mended thrive
below the literate planets.
What maelstrom tides shift.
The birds, deafening, rise.
Winter lidded the fields
Each tree was touched
A throne slow to land
landed its final place
Morning rested anew
Its legible body an excess
resumed hare cross, deer
Dusks then were maximum
Flush yields that loomed
mildnesses yet come
Instead night throttled
A sum of blunt grammar
piloted into its ground
To last the kneeled season
pilfered light finals the woods
Diets who halt life wail
distances come, dormant things
whose scale tips this earth more
Guttural birds remain
Once the trees return
Their chaste body sent
Long heeled to winter
Filthed in spring
The fields are vacant disquiets
spelled to rite who costs
Approximate woods begin
Cribbed sums amount the hard branches
slow thralls ground out seasons mass
The fields are begun
Heavied light weighs each flush tree
quarried through distraction
Winter stared, indelible
if impassable sphinx
Thighs a radius belched still lives
Mute attendants ragged in abandon
A heat driven into the spoiled ground even
Cannibal heat digesting
clenched on the mild throat
Receded shades fast, pale on pale grasses
Maixmum orchards wake the body
laid in its final coil
Scales of birds loom, fleeing
The closed land a cypher to ferry
Robert Dannenberg lives and works in Chicago.