Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Old Grass

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Old Grass

Article excerpt

They want to plow you under,

old grass, what I've witnessed

for half a century, they want

to deforest the forest, until

you'll be just a thread

of heat haze, there'll be

no bells ringing that day,

only tractors and smoke

for the deforestation

will turn the hay

to soil; old grass

you have been my succor

like the moon

and the heron, the owl

that carries its priestly shadow;

I hear the boiling sound

coming down the summer

for the vintners

want to rip the light

from god's face, until

nothing remains, they

want to remove the miles

of paper candles, for that is

what you are, old grass,

our lightning here on earth,

where the skylark sings

where the cicada tempts us

to lie down, where the clear water

is thirst for the butterfly;

when they take you

it will be as if the sun

is yanked from the sky

it will not be a purification rite,

I will mourn the home

of hares and squirrels

the nests of deer and pine needles,

I will howl as if I'm a coyote,

when the confusion begins

for old grass how many prayers

have you heard between

the blue oaks and the black, how many flocks

of geese have you watched

one can never know

not even the robes of first frost

or the scented clover of rain. …

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