April 30, 2002

The Sleep Cycle

I took the Ampersand topic for this month very literally:
"Why so slowly in winter / and later with such a rapid shudder?"
- Pablo Neruda, trans. William O'Daly

and ended up with the following. I like some things about it, but as usual, I'm not sure it's finished.
The Sleep Cycle
For a tree
The winter is
A time of sleep
And storage,
Of husbanding
And slow-flowing sap.

One day, the wind speaks
Of spring in breezes
Rather than winter blasts.
Twigs stir. The tree shakes
Sleep from its stiff branches
And ponders putting out a bud
Or two. The juices flow more quickly now.

As the tree comes full awake
Buds are a matter of course now.
Now the task is to unfurl flowers.
More buds expand into leaf.
The tree is snowed over with blossom
Then filmed over with a hazy gold and green.
Faster now, unfurl the leaves fully
Drop the blossoms, a localized carpet of snow
Begin to ruminate on globes of ripening fruit,
Fully dressed now in rich rustling
Reach up, reach out, gladly growing,
full-tilt into summer.

Waltzing in summer's winds, until exhaustion
Ushers in autumn. The breeze is colder now.
And there begins to be a taste of winter.
Glad to rest, the tree drops its leaves
Recklessly spending its last energy
In a show of pure bravado
A glory of crimson and gold.
Leaves fade and drop.
Immured again
In winter's peace
The tree rests.
Posted by dichroic at April 30, 2002 10:59 AM
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