Tag Archives: trees

“Art About the Land”

The doors open at 6, and there you are
under the familiar stained glass atrium
where you kissed your girl a long time ago
when you thought no one was looking
and now you’re alone in the aftermath of love
feeling torn apart
by the painting of the White River
where you spent one hundred summer days
floating alongside her
certain you would never reach an end
and the close-up photo of the stones hit you hard
as you remembered
how sore your shoulder felt the next day
after skipping so many of them across Sugar Creek
because she looked at you with awe
every time you landed one on the other shore
and you know the mosaic tree
wasn’t made by her hands
but you stand there anyway, remembering
the times you watched her cut the glass
and you always wanted her to make you
a stained glass window
with various oak leaves to remind you
of that trip you took to Mammoth Cave
and you know you taught her everything
she knows about spring wildflowers
which are on display in watercolors and in oils
and there is even an abstract sculpture
of what appears to be bleeding hearts
which reminds you of a poem she wrote for you
and you keep your eye on the door, believing
it’s possible she might walk through it—
that she might be trying to find you again
in this tangled mess of weeds.

 

 

DeMaris
11-29-18

“Sierra Nevada Morning” by Albert Bierstadt, 1870

Holding Together

I am sitting alone
in the kitchen I built
eating fresh blueberries
listening
to the birds
reconcile their feelings for me
as they enjoy the seed
but remember the trees
that once held their homes

I can hear those trees
coming down
falling over
creating a moment of static
in the crushed branches

I can feel the weight
of the first wall
as I lifted it into place
on the edge
of the foundation

I am staring
at the front door
that I installed
with not much difficulty
on a rainy day

I am remembering
the way it felt to be so high
on the ladder
putting in the windows
that have given me the view
of my childhood fantasy

below me
above me
all around me
are two by fours and nails
holding me together

holding in place
this dream I have
of sharing this nest
with a particular man
I like to imagine
walking through that door

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-29-18

Falling

Parrish Broady—
a boy who hadn’t reached out
to grab my memory
in a long damn time.
But driving fast down 46
I see a truck waiting for its turn
to pull into traffic.
Broady Electric.
Blue letters.
The association begins.
A middle aged man
behind the wheel.
Middle age
never grayed the hair
of Parrish Broady.
Never calloused his soft hands.
Middle age didn’t arrive
with a birthday cake blazing
or a crisis of identity loitering
in his high school yearbooks.
Parrish Broady—
the boy with the strange name—
more haunting
now that he’s gone—
now that I have lived
more than double his short life.
Parrish Broady—
the boy
who must have climbed that tree
a hundred times—
that tree that was finally able
to reach its branches
into the powerlines
like fingers searching blindly
for the switch in a dark room.
And he perished—
the young boy
the son
the little brother
the friend
the beloved and adventurous kid
who must have mistaken
that dark limb for the one
that would keep him
from falling.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-7-18

Photograph

 

It feels like I’ve said
almost everything I can
about the way I love you—
the way it feels warm to have you
in the center of my heart—
and how happy I am to wake up
next to that smile of yours
even if it’s just a picture of us
together on our happiest day
being silly and reckless
somewhere in the middle of our lives
which were never
supposed to converge like this
in the middle of nowhere—
and when I took that photo
deep in the woods, my right arm
wrapped tightly around you,
I wasn’t thinking
about the past or the future—
or the ethics of our union.
I wasn’t thinking that one day
I’d need to explain
what I was doing there with you—
that no one else would see what I see
in that joyful photograph—
all the love, beauty, bravery
and restoration—
the depth of feeling
words are powerless to express
or deny.

 

 

 

DeMaris
3-6-17

 

Three Months In

 

In the first month you were satisfied
with a single sentence meant for you—
a question about your views on climate change
or a query into your childhood activities—
and then a compliment exchanged on Facebook
somehow flooded your body with endorphins
that lingered all day because
another human being you’d never even met
seemed to be as curious about you
as you were about him—
and before you know it a month has passed
and you’re kissing this stranger
under the white dome of a January sky
beside a tulip tree—and this memory
will become a source of great joy
even when you begin to realize it was a mistake
to think you could cruise through February
without falling in love with his skin touching yours—
and you’re a fool to expect anything but wildflowers
to bloom in March, because you are both tethered
to stones you’re not strong enough to move.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
3-3-17

 

Photograph by Ansel Adams, “Clearing Storm”

 

 

Too Much

You shouldn’t
say too much
about the way
you feel because
the way you feel
has nothing to do
with the promise
you made to
keep your distance
and let him be
alone in his empty
chamber
where his comfort
is in the ambient
sounds of trees
losing their limbs
and fox squirrels
chasing the simple
goals of their survival—

you are—
you don’t know
what you are
to him
except a warmth
he could live without
if you decided
your heart
would break apart
if you had to knock
on his door again
instead of it being
open wide
on the other side
of a welcome mat
with your name
on it—
perfectly legible
and bold.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-9-17

Painting by Andrew Wyeth