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Devil's Paintbrush

John Donlan

In my slow-burning archive orange hawkweed
thrives in granite-charactered soil
spalled off the basement stone,
a beaver labours up her steep skid road

logging poplar for food and shelter,
wind drives rivers of ripples down a pond.
Everything here knows what to do but me.
Like a bogus boiler inspector

I investigate every valve, work and rework
notes to husks, skeletal remains,
survivors who revive experience.
I try to memorize, to make some pictures

to walk into, in the final time
when I can't walk or hear or see, and see
lake-cradling pink granite, its orange earth,
its skin of lives flickering, flickering.


August 22, 2004


John Donlan's works copyright © to the author.


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