Posts Tagged hornbeam

Trees waking.

Tapestry yarn and embroidery floss
come in 500 shades —
200 of them are greens.

This is the time of year when you know why.

They’re lighter yellower now,
settling in summer to darker bluer tones.

Except for a few with a different plan

Downhill towards the weeping cherry

not growing up like most trees

but ever wider

making a tree house on the ground.

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Blooms and bird calls.

Spring overwhelms, reeling from so much at once.

A blurred yellow cartoon appears across the room,

fluffed out double size,

reverts to goldfinch when the preening is done
and I’ve stepped too close.

Behind the dense butt of Mr. Tom,
testing the grass, Lady Claudia Cardinal.

I’m not where they think I am.

Hornbeam fully leafed out, just in time for the hummingbird nests
of the first dozen or sixteen who’ve settled in this week.

Sugar maple seeds shower in astonishing profusion, likewise pinecones.
As every seed is sacred, we must plant them all.

Hawksbeard everywhere, a bumper bloom.

Money plants, in the pre-currency, violet phase.

Azelea not distressed at all by last week’s frost.

17 of the 20 blueberry bushes we planted 40 years ago
still flower and bear fruit.
This year we will implement some simple sharing rules
with the jays and crows and turkeys.

Dogwoods have become scarce, since the blight,
but a few young trees hang on.

Leaves ascending to the ridge.
By next week, an apparent mass of solid green,

but in the hundred shades of spring yellow greens
gradually coalescing into the grayer summer palette
of fewer darker hues.
And that will sign the end of spring.

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Seeing long and short.

I told the pretty little hornbeam, forty years ago,
that little maple sapling will not bother you,
I’ll keep it lifted and away.
There’s room for both, I said.


The spruce looming at the bottom of the orchard was a seedling then,
its siblings all harvested for Christmas trees,
except one pine also grown too big for Christmas.
They’ve grown up entwined a quarter century since.


Good year for cones on the high branches.

The trees are transparent now
to the sky and the ridge across the valley
for half the year a solid mass of green.


See through down to the branch.


See right through the unending woods, almost.

In every quarter see the horizon of ridgetop and sky.


The leaves will be beautiful when they return.
But we’ll miss the long view through the silver trunks
just as much as we miss their dense green cloak.

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At the tips.

Half the year we have leaves,
in Western North Carolina,
half the year we do not.

We’ve just about finished with the not part.

A week ago there was a chill hold.


Trees of wood, trees of shadow.
Projection on the ground, not real at all,
except everyday it’s closer to blooming.


Along Church Street, south-east forty miles, in Asheville,
an espalade of tree tops in perfect conic sections.


There are no leaves yet.


But the tip of every branch trembles
ready in silver or in gold.


Bloom, any minute now.


Any second.


Even the ever-cautions hornbeam is at the edge.


A few more minutes of sunlight in a day,
warmer by two or three degrees,
not just one trigger is cocked.


The whole hillside. Ready at the tips.
Doesn’t matter if you are ready.

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