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DOWNED

 

—After the storm that downed the last Taliesin oak

                      

I.

Our oak won’t last, but its wood will

curled and drying each part to its own

nature, final response toward earth

again: leaf or root or bark, the sticky

tannin at the heart; big tree turning

twisting down, singular life falling

 

 

II.

The bell sits alone in the corner made by

the limestone wall, as soon as its weight

leaves our hands, four strong men lay it

on sad gravel, we forget it, pile logs 

from the downed oak before its face

 

Who can remember its tone, more kin 

to earth than music, muted now, lip 

on the ground it was forged from, waiting

for a tree that can once again bear its

weight, for the limb its chain can girdle

 

Jim says it best: “you’ve got to ring the 

whole earth to get that one going”