More Old News

I promised more, and here it is! Remember how Geoff wasn’t a poet? Well he isn’t not a poet any longr! Dreams & Nightmares Magazine published his poem Salix Oneirola in 2017 and it is reprinted here for your poetic pleasure:

 

SALIX ONEIROLA

After sleeping for a thousand years

I find the forest has changed.

The trees that congregate at my pod

Have devoured all trace of the old road.

We set out, my faithful hound and I,

He seems to remember the way.

 

I blaze the bark of an aged oak

And logic circuits fleck the cambium.

I kick over a leaf

And each stoma is a watching lens.

I cannot feel the wind that stirs the boughs.

Is that laughter?

Weeping?

Verse?

 

In my youth we tamed the forests,

Gated the paths and fenced the perimeter.

When children ran away from home,

We simply closed the gates

Sent low-flying airplanes with loudspeakers attached to their fuselages:

“Come home or stay, we don’t care.”

In the springtime we would open the gates

And find small bones gathered beneath the oldest trees

Crocuses growing in mouse-gnawed orbits.

Now the trees occlude the sky.

 

My faithful hound leads me to the twins.

Ash shakes his gnarled limbs at the sky.

Willow bows in worship.

“Germinate with us.”

“Watch the constellations change.”

I say: “Come home.”

And I take my hatchet to his trunk.

The wound bleeds a viscous, sweet fluid.

The sap rusts my hatchet blade

And turns it to dust in my hands.

The sap convinces the hatchet’s hickory handle

To put out roots and sprout new green buds.

“All is forgiven.”

“All is.”

“All.”

 

The dog is old now

The flesh thin over twig skeleton

He cries when I tell him to lead us home.

So we navigate by long-healed blazes

Past the ruins of root-twisted gates

And the bones of the cities.

 

I climb back into the pod

To sleep for another thousand years.

The forest has changed

But not enough.

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