Another Poem This time


This time it's mine, and because it is very highly personal, don't expect that meaning will necessary leap out at you. It was also highly experimental for me at the time, although I think most traces of that have more or less vanished. Just as a point of information--I consider the silver birch and the white birch among the most beautiful trees in the world (at least for northern climes).

The Meaning of the Birch
Steven Riddle

In a twist of air on an ragged day,
the last of a raw burnt-out stretch of ember days and nights,
when the only thoughts have been the pains of yesterday
and tomorrow, the hours stretching to the white
hot edge of time and whatever passes for a life,
one afternoon I tasted a trace of mystery,
a tantilizing breath, a glimpse of knife-
sharp childhood days seeking the perfect tree--
a birch to plant in the neglected nation of our back
yard, in the wide stretch of green ocean that became,
on the shores of memory, the home ground, rack
and hew of all the days of summer, curiously the same,
and yet perfect in distant vision. And in that moment
catching that tremor of a taste, I think I can
pierce the veil that keeps me here in ageless days pent
up and longing for a time that now is
more than memory and
less than real. How can the longing heart not skip a beat,
when it stands transfixed by that it can never again meet.

©2000,2002 Steven Riddle

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 28, 2002 9:35 AM.

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