Monday, January 19, 2015

Underneath the Ferns


Underneath the Ferns

As those delivered to the soil in boxes,
the elk's breath left it an antlered slump underneath the ferns,
between the carpet and eaves of that temple where nature
has yet to grieve the god throbbing an omnicidal solace
for a time before teeth were whittled inward
and the dead turned its dirt.
In such a habit, earth exhales plumes of mandible and wing,
crowns the rack of its sundered quarry in clouds of a darker,
southernmost glory, the anarchic mantra that inspires nature
to glut and ruin and writhe
unaltered, reveling as much in this maggot-blanched vanity
as in the pomegranate that insinuated our shapes
back into the embrace of root and worm,
of decay and retrieval,
of oak and soil and mold, no less quarry
than the thing with antlers branching through the ferns.
Like rows of storm-gnawed limestone, the tines
denote whatever grotesque the seasons have secretly crafted
of something once so beautiful,
but more,
the gospel in ivy ascending their pallid homage,
tendrils studding this rot with the triumph
that turns death upon itself and pulls existence from its ashes.

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