Whispers Home

pt. i: The Closeness of Saplings

This evening, the air is a bellows that stirs tepid
sleep. Dreams draw slush and dust as the world
inhales visions like dreams but not so far away.
Lightning snaps silent the overlooking hill,

and a new dissonance surges birds and rodents
like an ambulance through ambivalent
traffic, lights flashing flaming shadows
on the Maples, Oak, Birch.

A fawn breathes in
death as it lifts its left hind leg, collapses
against the crimson singe on its skin,
its shattered kin casting a frenetic withdraw

from their ascertained glimpse of safety.
Flames crackle, deafen their panicked
gallops like chaos piercing through
to the forest vein: vanish after heat waves

deepen havoc, grasp the woodland
burning, and flee to the water's whispering;
Come home. That primal hush quiets
minds like a spell from an old grimoire

with oaken flesh you read about in a dream-
library, a memory not-so-far where you
wrote notes and sketched, so eager
to squeeze every lesson from your time

here; Come home. Paroxysms envelop the air
like magma the river brims with waves gnashing
snakes, elk, bear, and fallen fowl too suffered
to survive the ferry, beckoning: jump,

return, or risk the suffocating smoke, like your first new day
alone, or the taste of flesh after a fast,
or, as now, your first choice, the last
you will ever have to make

By Isiah Fletcher, 25 Nov, 2019

nature aterrima poem

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