Monday Poem

Lush Misunderstanding

—of an interview with Jane Goodall
life from dying comes
—life after life:
a ballet of treed chimps,
a great defining roar,
a thin thread lost

where are you, father?
(a name I never called you,
I called you, Dad)
yet there it is: father
half-ground of my issue,
half-ground of my being,

chimps throw rocks into a waterfall
to watch them drop, to hear them splash
they sit watching stones and water fall

what is this, this dead tree
with its skin of moss and mushrooms
pushing up and out, this light-giving
thing overhead in its brilliant cape of blue,
this light, splashing, falling down,
this hard and heavy thing
I heave into empty-what
to watch it fall and vanish
into a gleaming mirror-hole
in the ground?

life from death
where are you, father?

the forest makes no demands on me,
says Jane,
it doesn’t care that I’m here

what is this distance,
this insistent swath of lush

Jim Culleny, 12/30/20