The Bones of Trees

The Bones of Trees

The split of earth and sky 
blurs in greys
as we tilt toward sunlight
and the hopeful.
Our journey is always the same –
grey on grey, slate-coloured, 
tarmac black. 

Dogs pull on leads, 
worn red,
crossing streets without discretion,
panting smiles. 
We talk while shuffling toward
a quiet place 
and the memory of trees.

For a dog a graveyard
is a yard.
How lovely to be remembered
in a place like this
where dogs fetch sticks
or leap through gaps 
between standing stones?

For me, a graveyard
is nature’s repose.
short-form testimonies
of passing lives
in loud voices 
or whispers.

Memorials jut,
growing tall in short shadows
of changing seasons,
from cold to warm,
while trees oversee
those who have passed
from living to lore.

Heaven comes in unexpected packages.
Life is pleasure 
and sadness.
We mourn from the day we are born.
Love the bloom, fear the demise –
the remaining rose-hip, the browned hydrangea,
the darkening of summer light.

The blackbird might
confuse night from day,
yet still sings,
and I realize 
none of this is endless.

Still, the scope of us,
our inner monument’s
to cues, we shift,
and write, and move.

My dog pisses on gravestones,
my guilt, my release, my laughter.
No tragedy here.
What was, short or long,
a passing season in a grove of charm,
the smell of spring,
the crunch of calloused snow.

Dogs play as it comes and goes.
within fieldstone walls,
composed squares and angles
against churchyards.
The pealing of bells,
hour on hour,
reminds us of the sacred in silence.

How quickly we forget
the wild and rare.
My dog sniffs and fetches,
I admire those who knew, 
the once flesh of soulful pursuits, now, in stone,
while trees in winter?
The sturdy bones.