With the Tenderness of the Rain Forest – a poem by Andre F. Peltier

With the Tenderness of the Rain Forest


I read the world in a glance. 
All the back-alleys, 
all the lost continents 
and secret haunts. 
Treasure trove of the Caribbean, 
buried by pirates 
distant and forgotten. 
Blackbeard’s ghost, Mary Poppins 
in the campground of yesteryear,
Main Street USA,
and I think of my future 
and God. 
Seven years old 
and my road-trip summer 
overflows with melting crayons. 
I feel the wax 
between my fingers 
and write love letters to tomorrow. 
The Carousel of Tomorrow 
spun and there was a great 
big beautiful tomorrow 
when I looked at the AAA 
roadmaps. 
And there’s a great big beautiful 
tomorrow 
when I see the atlas 
in the eyes of God,
the contours of the 
farthest reaches,
the four corners of the globe.
Strong Sahara shoulders 
upon which rest the weight 
of our weary word.
The paths of Alexander
From beautiful Asia Minor 
to the twelve altars on the Hyphasis
the deep lines on His cheeks.
From mighty Mount Whitney 
down the long grey beard.
The sailing stones of
Death Valley: each vertebra.
The joy of His laugh, 
the joy of continents: 
West Africa and Western Australia. 
His piercing stare, 
like the sheer slopes of 
the Matterhorn. 
An atlas in every breath.
Amazon heart pumping 
love and grace
from backwater swamp 
and the headwaters 
of ancient Machu Picchu. 
A watershed 
to the lifeblood of oceans.
“Cast down your bucket,” 
the captain called in the mouth 
of the mighty river.  
“Cast down your bucket where 
you are,” he repeated. 
So wide they couldn’t 
see the shore. 
So wide God’s Amazonian 
tenderness. 
So wide the carousel 
of this very moment.

Andre F. Peltier is a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where teaches literature and freshman composition. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI, with his family. His poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming in numerous journals In his free time, he obsesses about soccer and comic books.
Twitter: @aandrefpeltier

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