Daily Archives: 05/04/2009

Poem for What Remains of Our Rainforests

forest-cloud

for Rose and Pete, my parents


The flower clung on to the wind,
dreaming itself a swallow.

The wind held on to the branch
and stilled. The branch itched,
bent a little and caught
a glimpse of the frog pawing a leaf.

The leaf severed its limb
and fell to the ground. The pebbles
inched a bit to give the leaf
some room to dream itself

A flower. The forest, or what
remained of it, laughed
at its children. But there
was little room for laughter.

It could not even command rain.

-o-

This was written in 23 September 1990 and was part of my first poetry book, Beneath an Angry Star (Anvil, 1992).  Even back then I seem to have been very conscious of time. The notes I have managed to recover indicate it was written 7:08-7:27 in the evening in my parents’ home. I can remember nothing of that night. This poem survived it.

I had no computer then, but I did inherit a typewriter from my sisters. Very likely I wrote this in a cheap spiral notebook about the size of my hand. No one else could read my handwriting then. People always complained about that.

Now, with my reliance on the keyboard, I myself struggle to make out what I scratch on paper just a few hours earlier. In a lot of ways I miss those times. The touch of paper. The sound of a pen scarring what was once the belly of a tree.

-o-