A little dirt, a little water, processed through a bulb: an emblem perfect on a stem.


Lower, where the tree trunk reaches into the earth, a golden dirt bloom.


Lichen shelves, ascending fairie ladder.


Puff. Ball. Woodland antiseptic.


Either the rock grows larger, using it’s fungal affiliates as we use our microbioma.
Or the branch wears away the bottom while the lichens eat the top.
The plastered leaf may stay, may wash away downstream.

2014-09-06_17-13-00_459Camera clicks convert the eddies to shining mirror rock, solid for the instant.


Zooming out, the flow of the branch,
gentle today, going forever down.


The mighty Mississippi waits, assured of what’s coming,
moves all its other work along and waits
as the Little Bald Branch runs into Spring Creek
down to the Pigeon River, down to the French Broad
pausing for the turbines at Lake Douglas, over the TVA spillway
at last to meet the Mississippi
riding down some more to New Orleans
into the Gulf of Mexico, tickling the frenulum of Florida
as it exits into the Atlantic
and sails the Gulf Stream north to the coast of Wales.

That’s it? Or sucked next under arctic ice,
pulled across and down into the deep currents of the Pacific?

Yeah, probably that.
Water like electrons will always go to ground.
The cycle unbroken.