Light takes the tree… - Theodore Roethke

but at Mud Run and its deep beeches and its cardinals plump
as embroidery and its RV’s and its darners and its condoms
like comets in the shrubs, it’s the tree which not takes take
hinting purpose, the tree which floats into the long, O long
slow tree sleepwalks into the low light

near Pittsburgh grand in his birchy bones, my appa dandling
his bottles singing Tamil songs older than he so here in Mud
Run I want to build a hovel. Armfuls of plums and honey and
a pile of books for sustenance. Lying on my back my head out
of doors asterism whip-poor-will the open palm of space cupping

the nightjar the earth. I hum Schubert I skin a plum in the alone
I learn the name of each star Algenib Markab Enif Scheat far all
all too far too far to change the spit the spit bright plums the pit
near Mud Run where I cherish this sparrow-footprint gashing
Mud Run’s water. Minnow or miracle? The brook the light

the light in the river the dusk. Widening. In the dusk Mud Run
running nowhere deepening.

Varun Ravindran



 (Public domain audio source)