The Day a Rabbit Fell Out of a Tree and Distant Trees

Two poems by Stephen Page on #BurningWord http://burningword.com/2011/01/stephen-page-poems/ #ranching #nature #SaveThePlanet

#poems #ranching #nature

The Day a Rabbit Fell Out of a Tree

In Lot 30,

next to the Corn Lot,

I started shooting parrots

out of a eucalyptus.

I hit one on my first shot—

it crashed

through the branches

and thudded

head first on the ground.

 

Then, behind me,

I heard a flapping of wings

and turned around quickly

only to see a rabbit

fall out of another tree

and thump listlessly upon a root

sticking up from the base of the trunk.

 

How strange.

Was this a sign?

If I were Roman,  Trojan, or Greek,

I am sure I would believe so.

 

I examined the rabbit.

It was limp and still warm

but there was no blood,

only a long slash

like a talon might make

on its side,

its muscles and ribs exposed.

 

Now, either a hawk dropped it,

frightened by my shotgun blast,

or Diana was playing with me.

 

Distant Trees

“I don’t understand why distance

must be measured in nonnegative

numbers.”

 

The thicker part of the Wood

Has been cut

And becomes thicker still.

 

“If I face north,

distance to the south

is behind me.”

 

Every trunk branches

Ten times, and each branch becomes a tree,

Even though painted with herbicide and oil.

 

“Which way to Hope Ranch?”

“Oh you go back the way you came.

Ten kilometers.”

 

Post Maker lied.

The Bad Wood has returned.

Worse and without trails.

 

“Yesterday I walked all the way

to the Wood from my ranchhouse:  3 kilometers,

then back again: 6 kilometers in total

(or is that zero since I walked back

on the reverse azimuth?)

Yesterday I walked to the Wood.

Yesterday I walked back.

Yesterday I walked.

Yesterday.”

 

I want to return to the Wood,

To the way it was.