Posted tagged ‘flowers’

Loosestrife

July 22, 2018

20180722_161946

“Invasive,”

the word conjures

metal armored legions

and goose-stepping Fascists,

not the purple-palled spires

that rise from marsh ponds

and riverbanks.

Every Summer, the purple army

spreads across New England.

“A plague,” say some.

 

Some years it is

gypsy moth caterpillars.

Their obnoxious pellets

cover everything

from cars to picnics.

Nothing is sacred.

One year they stripped the leaves

from the trees so that August

resembled April and Spring

came twice that year.

At night, we even heard

their munching in our sleep-

noxious soldiers

devouring forests.

 

Experts warned

the trees would die

if the caterpillars

were not stopped.

Three years of deleafing

is more than even

an oak can stand.

So that Spring

we wound foil

and Vaseline

around tree trunks,

sprayed insecticide

at the base,

and held our breath

as we waited

for the barrage to descend

from silken tents.

 

Nothing happened.

No caterpillars

wicked as Nazis,

organized as Romans

arrived. “A virus,”

experts shrugged.

 

 

The Amazon basin

is being strip mined,

the Borneo rainforest

razed by loggers.

We consume, inhabit

every place march out

even into space.

Look at those purple spires,

feathers reaching

toward the sun.

They reflect back

in the black pond water,

nodding occasionally

to the wind,

or a ripple

from a passing trout.

Sexual Healing

June 26, 2010

Some have forgotten
your name, but I see
your many faces
in the flowers
strewn by roadsides
and across fields.
Like the hips of young girls,
their petals sway in the breeze,
calling to the bees,
and they come.

Yet you are
a cavern fringed with Winter
and we are bears
sleeping through long nights.
In your wisdom,
you leave us
so that we may come
from your dark
into your light.
For like us,
you are a bear
and we your nursing cubs.

This Earth is brown and green,
and when water breaks
from the sky: blue.
Like great thighs,
your mountains call us,
and we come.

apaul