Bio Note: Raised and nurtured in the Susquehanna River Valley of Upstate N.Y., I've written poetry since my youth. Approaching my 70th year, I've committed to publishing some of these poems. Since joining Verse-Virtual last year, I've enjoyed reading the poems in each issue as well as the Quote of the Day. It's a pleasure to be a member of this vibrant literary community of poets and friends—thank you for your fellowship and for reading my work.
for Mary Oliver, Poet I That tree whose leaves lost their incandescent shimmer, spiraling out somewhere before I knew the branches were bare. Still, its bark and trunk, and certainly its roots, were there, spidering out and down under ancient moss and loam, furrowing an alluvial sea, its red-green tendrils reaching out to grasp its other being. II One curled husk of leaf skitters across last night’s black ice pond, an unread letter, pinwheeling over the broad, slick disk, shining and dark as a starling’s blue-black wing. III Perfect heft and heavy, the dense round stone that I meant to save found my pitcher’s arm instead. Hurled ecstatically high and far as gravity allows, arcing up through the naked tree and down, smashing the black ice hard and loud as a heartbeat hammering RATATAT-ATat, atat, tat, tat, tat – skidding into softest, banksedge snows, echoing far and near; far and near; echoing and echoing, still.
Silence encircles the carnelian-draped bier, flowers and candles, upturned faces shimmering in halflight, Murmuring — “O Rei,” — The King, lying in perpetual state, floating above marble and slate, once more. The translucent veil’s netting, gently draped between two worlds: Quicksilver, and Grace.
©2023 Skip Bushby
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