Flora and Fauna

flora fauna

The air is as still as deep water in a creek.
The sense of summer is regret for something spent.
As we walk along, silence is snapping quick
Beneath the weight of a fallen twig or branch.
A whisper scurries beneath the carpet
Of dead leaves, brown, chthonic, grossly vegetative
Coated with something that seems to waver
Between the substance of soil and dust –
Indecisive about how to carve immortality’s
Signature in the forest floor, the ground decays
Like a voice left out in a night of hard rain sogged
With the same choking intensity of rain itself.

While looking at the asymmetrical arabesque
Of sunlight among hectic treetops, this late
Summer day, I hear the concentration
Of animal suffering in that same voice, yours,
Sobbing softly in my garden plot, not departing
Not arriving, but saying something in between,
In that time all creatures were there to name,
Before we knew each other enough to know
A bear and her cub are not so soon parted
As human beings and their paradise.


  1. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    Great mood, and I think there’s something beyond mood going on here, as well — something addressed to the intellect; I’ll try sussing it out when my mind’s sharper.

    Thanks already, though, JOB.

  2. Jonathan Webb says

    Carried me along (strangely feeling the same way these days). Good poem. Thanks.

  3. Nice, though probably outdone by the poem above. Just my opinion! And, in fact, what meaning I am able to glean suggests that they could be something of a pair, like prime numbers, if not twins. Although there is much that I am unable to understand here, e.g., why exactly is ground indecisive about how to carve immortality’s signature in the floor? I’ve been working on that for a few days now, and it hasn’t come to me yet …

    I like difficult poems, but some of these lines are awfully hard nuts to crack. Lucky for me there are other lines that convey finely observed feelings (“I hear the concentration / Of animal suffering in that same voice, yours …”)

    Nice work, as always.

    • You might be overthinking the thing – the indecision is a characteristic of autumn (and spring for that matter) – the difference between a slithering eel of a gerund and the fat plopped toad of a regular noun – autumn is that ideal Heraclitian season – “Change is the only unchanging thing” etc.

      At any rate, glad you liked it – and glad you’re willing to crack my nuts…

      Er. Um. Well, you know what I mean.


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