if the house
if you live in the house
or condo
or hut
or tent
or street
(because, we all once
came from the house)

the house
burnt down

what would you remember?


would keep you on the verge



would keep you from spilling
for answers


pile of ash
would be your

           family  portraits
           grandpa's violin
           christmas cards
           head tax receipt

lost belongings.
proof  of  life.
proof  of

what would be left
if the A-frame closed in
on itself,
if dad could not save the roof
with a hose

if water

to flame

the sidewalk
bare ashen prints

thebroken lot
bear ferns & grass. & seeds.
&thorns &twigs &trees,

ruins &

like moss

maybe the written word is like moss,
growing everyplace in the forest
that the eye can’t see
unless it is still, and careful…

and the more words i write
the more dirt i make,
soft green tendrils curling
in the shaded forest light
under ferns,

sitting atop mounds and mountains
and reaching around trees,
perched on logs:
afloat on a windspoken rain
drifting down a trickling stream
to be planted subplanted and transplanted
only picked fresh to make a bed
or to offer a drink of caught rainfall;

going where it is allowed to grow old.

a tree is knowledge

The leaves of a tree are special. In every moment they are a gift to the world. They awaken from sleep in the Spring. They flesh out and become all that they are: not knowing nor caring that they live off what City Man believes to be poison. They provide shade in the Summer, and become shelter for birds, and food for many. In Fall they become many colours, not one the same as another — all beautiful. As Winter enters under the nose of Fall, the leaves gracefully let go of their branches and float to the ground. There, they sleep.

Away from the seasons, the leaves are the lungs of the tree. Though lungs are light and vulnerable, they are powerful and can fill balloons and whistles and flutes. The leaves, small and green, are responsible for bringing up the water from the roots. It is the suction of the pores in a leaf that freshens the air and quenches the thirst of the tree. The roots burrow, the leaves pull.

There is much majesty and magic in a tree whose roots wander into the ground. If you have ever been by a lake, you may have noticed how the roots of a tree can extend as far along, and as deep below, as the tree stands tall. What is unseen is as magnificent as what is seen. To appreciate beauty is to know that it exists in the light and in the shadow — for surely it is both. A tree stretches out into the sky and reaches for expansion because it digs so deeply into the ground. A tree stands great thriving in the light above, and the dark below.