Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Devil's Garden

Image borrowed from Bing

The Devil's Garden

The first missionary traveling through,
God-driven mission hampered by blisters:
"Such a forlorn place must surely be

the Devil's garden." Since he was in
a hurry to leave, the name stuck.
By that time, volcanoes compacted

trees, turned soil into a crust so thick
only branches try rooting. Lightning
as fractional as sign language split

trunks into stone thighs. Rain shaped ribs
in the branches. Nothing resembling
a heart in between, unless it was

the sun, honeycomb of rise and set making
crows tap-dance landscapes more lunar
than anything else. The crows say the universe

is expanding. With it, Earth, the missionary,
his unsaved savages, woebegotten belly
songs. Through it all, the Garden settles

itself, snug in solitary geology. The Devil
he's got free reign, surrounded by rocks
so sharp they work like spit before a curse.

No more missionaries--only tourists,
and flies and the flies' shadows, relaxed
with no particular place to be.

Adrian Matejka


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