Green Hills Literary Lantern

 

Many Glacier, Montana

 

How faithful Swiftcurrent is to its wind,

and the wild swaying treetops,

the trembling aspens, the threaded pines,

the Old man’s beard draped like Spanish moss over bare limbs.

I could lie down with its waters that slap against blue,

gray, purple, even pink rocks, be like a moose

in rustling grasses, dotted with paintbrush and fireweed,

and my body too would shape itself a valley

that holds a dark night sky of stars so still in a whirling rush.

Even this old lodge, a hundred years of howling and rattling

stored in wood and panes, and the feathers of cliff swallows

held aloft as they gather food for babies on the wing,

those little faces that peek out of gourd shape nests,

like a clan of tiny suns waiting to rise, even I could fly here

where everything knows itself in wind.


 

 

In a Corner of Edwin’s Study

 

there is a cabinet with twenty-seven drawers.

I don’t know what’s in the other twenty-six

or most of what’s in the one I open.

I only know what’s inside an envelope,

in a note penciled in Edwin’s hand, 1977,

to his wife, Nellie.  The reason why

fireflies burn brighter here

than any I’ve ever seen,

why two Barred Owls sing to each other

across the woods, why a beaver swims

in cool morning light,

why a turkey struts out of tall grasses

and a woodchuck waddles along an old stone wall,

why three young orioles follow their mother

in a dip through the air from hickory to tulip,

why the soft flutter of phoebe wings

or the flicking sound of blue darners

rubbing their wings together in flight

gives you music and clouds with starburst edges,

because moonlight over Trail Wood happens

when you want part of your ashes

sprinkled there.

 

 

 

 

Lisa Meserole is a poet, storyteller, music teacher, and nature lover. Her poems have appeared in the chapbook Oysterville: Poems and in various journals, including Connecticut River Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Earth’s Daughters, and Shot Glass Journal. In 2017 she was an Edwin Way Teale Writer-In-Residence at Trail Wood, sponsored by the Connecticut Audubon Society.