Under the wire of a fallen fence


rests a hunk of smoky quartz,
probably with emeralds or rubies in the matrix.


The main road up the mountain was blocked for months
when several trees pulled each other down
and the smashed tops smash-wove an impenetrable snarl.
It took a neighbor’s trackhoe’s loader to pull the knot apart
after all the trunks were cut.


But falling doesn’t mean wood’s work or use is done;
it becomes host to a host.

Shallow roots too near the branch shall be undercut
and rise to become fresh habitat:
law of the forest.


Still genuine American chestnut.
We got many boards from the fallen trees;
but forty years on, only crumbly chunks remain.


A couple days of rain, and the Little Sandy Mush Bald Branch
sends its forest-filtered fresh waters streaming down through Hot Springs


More and more it looks as if the ground
chews the old convenience from underneath.


Though grave diggers toil is long,
sharp their spades, their muscles strong,

they but thrust their buried men
back into the human mind again.
(says uncle William)