Unto the Plane Trees the Pure Ones Having Descended – a poem by Dave Shortt

Unto the Plane Trees the Pure Ones Having Descended

tired of blood & vine moods,
having planted trees which
became a protected place,
whose inedible fruits
are a neutrality

cars park under the boughs
as all motion stops but the transiting
of the sap

who or what asks
about transcendence
of the terror-filled stakes?
what if the dust-body needed to go back
to raw pearls & gemstones,
which by then had disappeared
into the ground like leaves?

when the wind dislodged a silent idea
which started walking out from the tool handles
to a place where it could bask
in the indigent moonlight
(where conifers were kindling vulcanism in their needles):
then a carnivore turns into a ruminant,
& an argument loudens
(layered with milk & wool)
in favor of the smoothest board

in the roots of the sky there lived
ones ingrained with something tree-like
growing downwards towards their feet:
what would the towns have to do with
their barely voiceable wooden hosannas,
their visions of forested deserts?

in a secluded spot
repeatedly cleared over generations,
a cross-cut saw is pinched in a fork of the breathing:
but in an attempt at freeing it,
the temperature of the faller’s brow freezes everything
except a memory of a tribe of simians,
their brutalities & mistakes, rainproof
under an endless forest canopy

on one of the trees,
a placard (hanging there
on nails humanizing the bark)
vulgarizes the mass of
its centuries-old Occitanian reverie:
people numb from
the immolation of each of their years
scan newspapers for snippets
of stories foreshadowing their reincarnations,
while historic headlines superpose
on signals to their feet
to stop their search

when she left it was as if to steal
& test fire, to find out
what it couldn’t burn,
trusting not even the veracity
of the sun’s warmth

once, an old carpenter from the village thought
he heard her in a dream speaking of
castles whose stones were alive


Dave Shortt  is a longtime writer (from the USA) whose work has appeared over the years in a number of print & electronic literary-type venues, including The Ekphrastic Review.  More of his poems can be found in recent or archived issues of Blaze Vox, Blackbox Manifold, Ygdrasil, Peculiar Mormyrid & the print anthology Emanations: Chorus Pleiades.    Another is scheduled to run later this year in Silver Pinion.

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