Monday, January 16, 2006

part II

you need a hillside, a small and steady wind,
a killing frost, and, later, honey-bees.
you need a shovel, and shears, and a ladder

and the balance to come back down again.
you will have fears of codling moths
and railroad worms, and aphids.

scale and maggots and beetles
will come to their undoing.
Forests will trap the air

and valleys will bend to gales--
cedars will bring on rust, so keep them
far in the distance. Paradise,

of course, was easy, but you and i live
in this world, and "the fruit of the tree
in the midst of the garden"

says nothing specific about apples;
the "apples of gold" in Proverbs
are probably oranges instead.

And so are the fruits
Milanion threw down:
an apple does not glitter.

If you're interested in immortality
it's best to plant a tree, and even
then you can't be sure that form

will last under weather.
The tree can break apart in a storm
or be torqued into pieces over many

years from the weight of its ruddy labor.
The state won't let you burn the wood
in the open air; the smoke is too dense

for breathing. but apple-wood
makes a lovely fire, with excellent
heat and aroma.


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