Man-made and unmade


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?

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