Wednesday, April 20, 2011


 Populus tremuloides: Quaking Aspen.

A shimmer in the lace of the woods. Stark not-quite-white bark reaching tall, slender as paintbrushes. Hues of dull apple green tint the air suggesting ghosts of winter. Fruits hang in servitude. Claw shaped buds once sticky with resin crack open in silent celebration of solar rays. Catkins dust pollen generously like confectioner's sugar.
 Tribal marks in the landscape, streaking vernal pools and river bends. Songbirds take solace in the graceful, knobby arms. Powdery thin skin breathing in the sky, breathing out spring. Sturdy cracked ankles and fallen twigs. A beaver feast, beaver home. Canopy for forest flowers.
 Child of the great Willow family, traits like cousin Gilead. Pain soothing oils mark faint stains on old clothes. Bark tea sipped by Grandma, rocking in her chair in the humid twilight. Bright eyed child running wild, too wild; binds strong fomentation along a fractured wrist. Aspen whispers in April. Quakes in May. Shimmies in summer. Autumn's yellow skirt is too short.
 Trembling in visitations with breezes, shaking off nerves and fears. Warm ground holds steady. Papery hearts tickle with sound. Bitter thoughts warding off facades of humans. Innocent soils shared, enough is plenty.
 Great roots holding hands. Waters cleaned, turtles hide. Rich in history, stories of thaw, freeze, and burn. Morels play in May while ancient cultures multiply in microscopic millions. Fairies weave tapestries of mycelia and set them out to catch raindrops. Leprechauns tell jokes under thunderclouds. Fast in the wind fly cottony seeds, carrying with them a biodegradable future. Small wishes of mayflies copulate.
 Bent beauty, leaning ways, graceful unison. Spring fever cured and summer whims commence. Aspen reaches inside for strength, determining each color to paint the skyline. From all four winds of the continent, she dazzles the land. Hold her tusks as the animal of wisdom and courage. Travelling native, you quiver elegance.

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