Monday, October 27, 2014



The tree came to the feeding
in eddies of dreamdark
night thunder and wind
discussing the storm
blowing up from the south
and the blood of the age.

I was an eavesdropper
a spy in the heartwood
of the wide-running world tree,
a hatchling consuming
its blind spiral highway
from root to the crown,

my corpus a conduit for
time's succulent cambium,
green life pushed through me,
brown years my droppings.
I twisted my wormhole
from mud to the stars,

felt myself swelling
at the opening
with the turning inside me,
skin twitched over half-wings
as I poked my pale head out,
lightning burned into

the thousand sharp mirrors
of my faceted eyes--
but I saw what I saw
just before
the black beak
plucked me out.

~October 2014

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Open Link Monday

The Angel Oak (Quercus virginiana) John's Island, South Carolina, 
by Scott Campbell, via wikimedia commons 
Shared under a Creative Commons License
Footer: The Thief, 1996, by Jamie Wyeth
Fair use via


  1. wood is never silent, is it? it just speaks in a volume and cadence for which we frantic ants don't have the patience to listen to, until someone like you come along and convert it to something we can understand. some among us have posited that "we" are the "peak" of evolution - look at our teeth, they say, and the brain to body mass ratio - but I wonder - trees eat sunlight. what could be more advanced than that? leave it to the monkeys who abandoned trees to make ourselves out as superior to the limbs which once nestled us ~

    1. Thank you, M--our money minds can't always deal with our star-juice souls I think, and in future lives, I would truly prefer to live on light.

  2. Bummer. But maybe that's the way it's supposed to be, we finally see right before we're blinded by death -- or reborn into the Tree. Great ghastly ambiance to open this, the shrouded veil of the dream and its epying vantage. Getting a peek into verboten night side of the world tree. Unfortunately it's a worm in the wormtree (like the worm in the apple?), and the straining bright emergence -- so painfully, delectably slow in the verses -- gets one moment of Immensity before that black beak severs the poem's neck. Gods and nature does have a nice laugh at our expense and expanse. Funny, world tree gets into my contribution today, only top-hatted Monopoly Skeletors cut it down gleefully from the top branch they've acquired.

    1. Thanks B--during All Hallows, we get bonus points for 'corpus,' right?

    2. And definitely *bonus* bonus points for the dancing but ever-malevolent Skeletors

  3. Hedge, I wonder how many years I have been reading your poetry. At least since 2010. I can honestly say that after all this time, your work continues to amaze and inspire me. It is not only the mastery of words but also the vision behind them which astounds, and I believe it is a rare privilege to get the opportunity week after week to read the work of your brilliant mind.

    Here we have the tree of life and the lowly worm and everything in between the quickening and the death blow. I have used up all my adjectives, but I thank you for the poetry.

    1. Kerry, you have no idea how much your support means to me. Thank you very much.

  4. From the worms perspective .. so often it fails just at the pinnacle of its life. How often this happens to all life I do not know, but the process in which so much life is sacrificed before the success is a harsh ecosystem.. though from the bird's perspective where would we be without it.. and also the way humans are sacrificed on the way to get one perfect specimen winning the medal, claiming the princess or leading others.. there are as usual so many ways to read your poems, and I'm never disappointed...

  5. I am smiling even though I am more than a little terrified. This is such a very creative metaphor and perspective. I go along with all the others--the image is so fully realized that we believe in it wholly and are also snapped up. Just terrific stuff. Really well done. k.

    1. I'm not overly thrilled with it, but it was what I had--you know how that goes. ;_) Thanks, k.

    2. Funny how the ones we're unsure of sometimes speak to others and (if you're like me) the ones we love sometimes don't speak to others much at all. I love this poem, and second everything Kerry said.

    3. Thanks, Mark--of all the supporters of my writing you are one of the most valued. I deeply appreciate it. And yes, we are pretty much crappy judges of what we write--though I don;t know why--one would think those ones that we are really into would say the most, but oddly, not always, by any means. Maybe it's because they *are* so personally involving--thus in a more personal language? No idea, but that often seems to be the way it goes.Thanks again.

  6. This is so original and interesting. " I twisted my wormhole/from mud to the stars," Boy, don't we all try to do that very thing. Then the truly lucky actually get to flex those wings before the big bird comes. Great idea, great execution.
    Steve K.

    1. Thanks, Steve--one of those early morning whispers I write down, then wonder from whence they came.

  7. Oh wow...what an ending. Better luck next time!

  8. O, yes, and perhaps it is humanity who, given life, witnessed, ate, and is now to be eaten!

  9. It's such an utterly unique perspective with a killer opening and closing and the truth of life in between. Extraordinary.

  10. I have stood at every side and angle of this tree - some of its branches gone as it is so old and some supported. My daughter hugged it and I traced its limbs all the way to their tips… All the bugs and birds it has "homed", all the weather it has endured - the beautiful night skies it has witnessed - how much life, death, tears, laughter it has sheltered.

    I probably read it wrong, but I thought it was a butterfly - never allowed to flutter its wings. The ending is so sudden - I guess it really does mimic life (or perhaps I should say death).

  11. eeep! dang bird...i found it quite fascinating the perspective of the worm in the the heartwood...the green of life flowing through you...and the brown droppings...which has double meaning....ha.....

  12. The way you tell this is interesting and it's written very well. For instance -- "I twisted my wormhole from mud to the stars" -- what a clever way to put that. And then the surprise ending -- I didn't see that coming at all.

    Well done.

  13. I utterly adore this line:
    "I twisted my wormhole from mud to the stars,"
    It is all-powerful, in control.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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