Creative work by Rebecca Pyle has recently appeared, or will soon be in, The Honest Ulsterman, Posit, Cobalt Review, Gulf Stream, Gris-Gris, Belle Ombre, The Menteur, Guesthouse—poetry, fiction, artwork. American, Rebecca lives in the mountainous state called Utah, and owns two easels. See rebeccapyleartist.com.
THE NEEDS OF TREES
Dear darlings, yes, I fall into you, arms,
You save me, hold me from water.
The water surging around me like
Blood warm, rich, necessary.
I in paternal arms able and
They cannot fail. If
They do I die.
Stream of music
With small and nimble
Variations; you, arms, stronger than
Man-made bridge. They cradle me.
Why isn’t water cold? Why do I think
It warm? Because you’re saving me
From dying, proving I’m alive
As you hold me in your arms. I am
Not cold or dead. Content to be held. Death
For a while.
I have balcony.
Useless window boxes
Full of dismal herbs and plants which can’t
Form forest. Only hoping for embraces
Forms trees’ forest; an unsupple unloving
Forest of trees would fail. Trees are arms
Bridging, crossing, undoing; merging dark
With half-light. Forest most of all is
Interknit dependencies,woven warnings:
Trees guarding, giving each other
What they must have,
AND FUTURE TIME
Thank you for the bottles
Of medicine. I feel small
Sheltered inside dark glass. Is it blue or is it
Brown? Shiny: one color at dawn and
Of nameless night.
We leave night unnamed.
Unbearable, the night; abandoned
At birth by its own mother, the
I find father
In the dark: diffuse father of listening, truth,
You need a man to be captain.
I take your medicine, but not often. Too strong,
Night’s medicine, father’s medicine; high on
The ledge and shelf of cliff
Just above dark.
In pale garment of moonlight, failing:
Moon’s light makes us feebly miss
Targets, stay home where it’s warm. I’ve laid out
Night’s dark blue, and black, a thunder-shudder
Batik: designs wild and shattered and sharp:
Splintered like stars doomed and cursed to send out
Light rays forever to undeserving billions
Of eyes below on
Too much jewelry, really, the stars:
They distract the best of us, fooling us into
Believing—they guard us.
Wittgenstein of Cambridge wrote
The Blue and Brown Books.
He’s gone. So adopt me, medicine man, give me
Medicine-bottle blue night sky, with your creases of
Crumpling, uncrumpling batik black
Remind me Stephen Hawking
Once was coxswain
Young and beautiful in Cambridge.
Sat back of rowboat calling commands to
His row team, river Cam;
Hawking’s sweet brown hair fluttered by water-bright
Wind. He Hawking was supple, young, handsome,
Calling all the
Rowers to row,
Across water, river edge to river edge.
They rowed, they followed his call:
Made their way the ship of young wild
Schooled men, lucky men,
Across water dark as dark blue and brown
As secret and potent medicine bottles,
Not guessing ever Hawking’s own bones
And nerves would deceive him, become his
Thief, hock and pawn his handsomeness, steal
Ability to hold up his young and perfect
Head, ability to call across the water to
Other young men. To row. Fast forward
Motor neurone disease. His
Hands turned limp as bones
And rags, lying at his lap
Like fish bones.
Bicycles still fill the streets of Cambridge.
He Hawking became our sly captain
Coxswain into space, into dark
Tomorrow-furrows: blue as the bluest
Dark-tomorrow medicine bottle,
Brown as the dark fertile Egyptian hungry
Wet Niles of time, dark brown glassine
Bottle of forward-batiked rowboats
We will become
As trees the archway over the
Arch of loss. We will become
The street that began somewhere,
Which ends somewhere, and we will
Be puzzled by its accidentalness, the
Earth and the pavement over it so bluish
And the trees that were planted and then
Joyed in height, their happinesses. Trees
I salute you, and you, young man, I salute
You, who loved me with your eyes, who
Tried hard to understand me, and still, when
You were old,
Did not really love me, or understand me,
But tried, tried, listened,