Saturday, August 18, 2012


image borrowed from bing


“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
are of imagination all compact.”
--William Shakespeare.

A dun hawk with scorching thermals
beneath its short wings 
baptized the hot air
with its sibilant cry, 
echoing off cliffs and probing
the depths of shimmering canyons
as it spiraled over us, 
its darting shadow
kissing thousands of dead white logs
cast about like Asgaardian kindling
after a pair of logger gods 
had tromped over the foothills.

Sarge and I 
were merely two tiny figures
within the vastness of the clear-cut,
moving like field mice, 
like ants on a sequoia,
scurrying along the craggy back 
of cluttered trails that wandered 
through the broken discarded timber,

both silent, 
sweating in the afternoon swelter,
both listening 
to the susurrous shaman wind
hissing in its ancient tongue.

At road’s end near timberline
we rested in the cool shade
of a red outcropping, thrusting
out from the mountain’s shoulder,
his handsome head busy lapping
up warm canteen water from my palm,

just a man and his dog staring
at the bristle-cone ancient pines
that dotted the escarpment above,
bent like crones from their thousands of years
of standing there 
beyond the axe,
beyond the folly, 
their bark mostly shed,
their bodies nearly petrified, 
their branches creating a series of spiracles,
a helix that breathes rarified air,
a holy nest for angels and eagles
to roost in during the darkness,

trees that are older than any empire,
that began their growth in 3000 BC,
when the Neolithic Period was ending,
when Caral was built in Peru
as the first city in the Americas,
when Troy was founded,
when the Sumerians began to work with various metals,
as Stonehenge was beginning to be erected,
as the potter’s wheel was invented in China
and hieroglyphics began as writing in Egypt.

At twilight we were still toiling
leeward along the green lane,
happy to spot your smoke,
happy to hear the music,
anxious to share
the gentle wisdom we had gained
from our sojourn with the ancestors.

Glenn Buttkus

August 2012

Posted over on dVerse Poets

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Muir Woods outside of SF. Lovely atmosphere here, you and SArge and those trees, and your very sharp eye. k.

Claudia said...

haha..nice start with that shakespeare quote..and loved the old trees and all the other historic marks you included..

Brian Miller said...

nice...really cool capture and setting the atmosphere of this piece glenn...the susurrous shaman wind
hissing in its ancient tongue....adds a layer of magic as well...welcome was your travels?

Anonymous said...

Fantastic ~ you talk of things of which I have no knowledge, but now I do, through you.

Dana Dampier said...

I love the quote!

You just brought me on a wonderful journey!

flipside records said...

These are my favorites:

"A dun hawk with scorching thermals
beneath its short wings
baptized the hot air
with its sibilant cry"

"its darting shadow
kissing thousands of dead white logs"

George Polley said...

Beautiful poetry, Glenn. I'd love to have a collection of your work in my library to read and loan to others, knowing that I'd need a few extra copies, because some of them would choose to stay with the people I loaned them to, who, like me, have fallen in love with your words.

Susie Clevenger said...

A wonderful poetic journey. Love how you started with Shakespeare.

Gemma Wiseman said...

This sojourn with the ancestors seems to be one interacting with multi-dimensional ancestors! Especially love the opening image of the great bird baptising the air!

Se Judd said...

Certainly much to see with your poetry...loved this one, and read it aloud several times to get a full flavour of the whole!

Anonymous said...

the warrior is part of all the wars in history

street rubbish