Vox Populi

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Charles W. Brice: Walking Townsend Road, Petoskey, Michigan


One day it’s the red-twigged dogwoods

ringed by rag weed yellows and

chicory blues that clarify mind

and confirm insignificance.


Another day it’s the garter snake

whose crushed head reassures

and saddens, the long green body

pocked with purple checks

stretched out on the southbound lane,

the sheen of life still coats its skin,

its breath, now, of the expired world

where there is only awe.


Today, like Buddhas at sunset,

three sand hill cranes stand

on Billeau’s farm facing West,

enacting contrariness. Rusty

feathers hug their shoulders

like prayer robes,

as maples and ashes

ablaze in crimson and orange,

conduct cornstalk symphonies

in the dying autumn sun.


Against sunset’s gleam

it’s hard to tell, at first,

whether those cranes are deer

or birds or monks.

Their hunched silhouettes mark

the force of sun over meadow,

breeze over grass: a tyranny of calm

in this bloody, battle-fed, world.

Copyright 2016 Charles W. Brice. From Flashcuts Out Of Chaos by Charles W. Brice, published by WordTech.


Sand Hill Crane (photo: Stephen L. Tabone)

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This entry was posted on June 30, 2016 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , .

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