of a weedstalk gray from a year
of the weather, and sat reading
Leonidas, and eating a sandwich. Below him
sprawled the remains of an enormous oak,
long fallen, the underparts softening
into dirt. The chill green fi re of
the week-old grass worked into them, and on
downslope to the little river running clear
in sunlight. A pair of young oaks nearby
checked a cold wind. He was alone
the whole day in that backcountry. Once
he put the book down to rest his eyes on
the two oaks. They would move only slightly,
briefl y, in the gusts. Fresh in their strength,
crisp, pitiless, splendid from stem outward
to their clear leaf-limits, hard trunks
stone smooth, stone colored, they were OK
as the small deities of this steep place.
red -- and a red cow in the creek,
showing through the willows, sloshing
awkwardly upstream bawling
frantically for her calf,
which she had lost somehow.
came skipping across the pool
where I had caught the rainbow
two dragonfl ies -- Chinese red.
Then an electric blue
dragonfl y shot by too.
of the Greeks
long gone, the
nature of things
from which they
arose is as
it was and
will always be.