Tuesday, August 7, 2018

the high country

the spruce-fir world

the high country in the Smokies
is of Canadian evergreen,

of rocky ridges softened by the green of moss and fern,

amidst vertical columns of spruce and fir

who darken the feel of these woods
with their working needles all year,
grabbing the Sun as best they can,
shafts of sunlight transform solemnity,
lichen, mushroom, and all the fungi love this forest,

and jewel it with their creations,
each Indian Pipe we find 

celebrates the order life brings below and above
the surface rock and needled soil,

we find a bald where grass and flower show themselves,

the Cherokee in their transformative vision
described balds among the trees
as where dragons landed and brought fire to ridge top,

lightning and human action are more plausible to me,
but my understanding feels bereft of the wonder
that these worlds deserve.

by Henry H. Walker
August 4, ‘18

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