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from aspens for barns and sheds,
also a good quality pulp, though
as fenceposts they rot out fast.
What they are best for is
catching light in high air
and sending it uselessly out. When
he walks over to these three,
he leaves the daylight,
and stands inside aspen light.
for the utah juniper
They fi nd in ruins of the Anasazi
(the name in Navajo: the Vanished
Ones, Old Ones, Old Enemies)
juniper roof-beams, still sound,
juniper-bark torches. Slow growers,
roots fed into sandstone, the junipers
dot the scene to the horizon, holding their dark
over the pale rock; in summer light
lightless; grave green the year round,
stolid; tragic trees, for the long haul,
their coarse black blunt fl ame-shapes
leaving the sandy canyon bottoms
to the cottonwoods, those gleamers
and glisteners of brief summer,
quickly undone, stripped and stilled --
non-participants in the bitter winters.