Cars and houses and even an asphalt
street rolling on up that hill
wonders, real wonders for human beings
a whole world to fill.
Fashioning the world, drawn out, drawn, spun out
to some fantastic peak
Of art, of technology, of skill
of stubborn persistence, of flawless technique
Trial and error, over and over again
Rewarded by money, power and fame
By prestige, vanity and real interest too
The fullness of heart and intellect
That knows the triumph of doing it, getting it, knowing it through and through
Knowing that you can, that you do it
Better than anyone else.
Yes, Mr. Einstein, Mr. Edison, Mr. Faberge
Yes, cowboy, or doctor or builder of a great railway.
One who was called, “teacher, my teacher,”
by a student who got it, in whose eyes light dawned.
The acrobat, the soccer player, the toolmaker
Or are tools now made by laser?
A toolmaker as obsolete as an emperor.
But trees, no – trees live apart from us
Beside, parallel, apart from the asphalt street
From the wrist watch, the IPad, the latest sneakers on the feet
that walk the asphalt street.
Yes, clouds and trees
Look – a dark form, the early summer leaves
Oh, is it sun or rain or time that weaves
the formed dark silhouette or filigree pattern of the twigs
stenciled against the pale clouds?
Within the dark form, the trunk and branches
There creatures live, birds or squirrels, insects
Unobserved even at early morning
when the red-headed boy runs in the rain
that falls on the asphalt and down the city drain
The rain that falls into the river
on my red car or onto the muddy lane.
Come then, rain and wind. Come clouds, come snow
Grow grass and trees, weeds, bushes, come seasons’ flow.
Fly birds, annoy me squirrels and mosquitos and flies
Charm me, butterflies and dragonflies and bees and wasps tight laced.
Live your lives, damn it.
Insist, as we insist on some crazy object
Arise moon behind the clouds. Be perfect
As perfect as a Faberge egg? Let’s troop to see that.
Let’s pay to see it, study it, marvel at it, guard it
photograph it, explain it. Let’s just get it, shall we?
Do you get it? Well, then, let’s lose it.
Let’s pick a leaf from some ragged lilac bush
Let’s stand and look at that dark shape.
An egg, a tree. Where are we?