Monday Poem

Pattern Language

strolling through town with Plato
we take the sidewalk one step at a time;
shards of its exposed aggregate form archipelagos,
and overhead, Jesus in a cloud, or is it Lao Tzu
explaining Is without a word

clefts in the bark of trees we pass
define Appalachian humps. we saw Scranton
strewn along a grey gully on the lichen side
of the fat trunk of a sugar maple when we glanced

a net of angst chokes a birch in the side yard
of a small house, but it’s just Bittersweet
being a garrote —its hot orange berries
are incendiary cherries, its network of vines
untamed thought

a wall of desiccated siding, so in need of paint
its south face (some of it is dust, some parched
raised grain) is the surface of Mars:
what’s left of its spent red pigment
is the feel of utter space and rust

hairline cracks in river ice in the dam pond
are rifts of splintered glass silvered on one side
full of mere reflections falling to the sea

a crow measures distance between
gutter pebbles with her beak
aligning as if she were a smart array of atoms
laying out the footings of a house or universe;
patterns in her brain must be the forms she seeks

.Jim Culleny, 1/2/17