Bio Note: I am writing from the NH/VT border. Under pandemic conditions, using Zoom to connect with both local, and far away writing groups. Watching lots of backyard birds; taking daily walks. Happy to have the language of poetry to expand my world.
Pileated woodpecker’s red flashed as setting sun’s beam found his head, pecking-pecking at the bark of a tall tree while I walked uphill, away from town. Tap, Tapping. Flash, flashing. I stopped to listen and look; thought to capture on camera, but he left on long wings, white pattern revealed in the stretch of flight. Later, I looked up “pileated”. “Pileus”—a cap or hat worn by men or mushrooms; a type of clouds. They say that seeing a pileated woodpecker is a symbol for connection with natural ways. Their pecking rhythm like that of the heart, pulsing, pulsing.
When I Love Trees the Most
It’s not when there are branched silhouettes against the setting sun, highlighting a pink and orange screen with mingled patterns. Not even in Fall, when leaves, in a coral reef display of color, adorn hillsides with gold, orange, red bouquets. It’s not when trees are flowering, sprouting with green, and newly built nests, hosting the songs of Spring. When I love trees the most, it’s a cloudless sky, at the turning from June to July, sun so hot, even early in the day, glasses slip down the bridge of my nose, sweat trickling from eyebrows and tickling a stream between shoulders to waist. Merciful islands of shade, offered from fully leafed branches above, puddle between arid pavement deserts, becoming oasis after oasis of cool. As long as I see one ahead, I know I’ll make it, and be able to recover. Lovely gracious trees, treasured more than your beauty is your grand generosity.
©2020 Marjorie Moorhead
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