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 Spirit Chimes

On the Edge of a Dead World



I am lost in sweet oblivion,
then the chainsaws begin
lashing through a stubborn dream
and I wonder,
what is dying now?

And such an exquisite day
on the edge of destruction
where another tree lies
shipwrecked, still majestic
and unsung.

Old summers still gripping
the toppled pillars that
once held in place
a scattered universe,

a blur of yesterdays take
me down and I strain to see
it all just once again.

Here comic raccoons lived in
hidden splendor so far above me,
so superior because
they were so free,

and blue jays held court here
like cartoon nobles in a kingdom

floating between God and what
is almost-real:
so much lavish simplicity
above my miniature life.

And I remember all the emerald
drunk on yellow, gorged with August,
sailing across the corners of
this sad space,
tossed from end to end:
A shrinking sky. A sea of jewels.

Now the rat-like possums with
extraterrestrial eyes search
for their branches
under a strange, foaming sky
too large for this world
and leering, drooping
where only green should be.

And if there are tree ghosts
they reach for their phantom
sculptures above these stumps
and swear
they can still feel nests
and lunatic squirrels and wind
against those precious lines of age.

I want to sink back into my
dream where gentle giants still
serve up shade under
boulders of sky,

but the chainsaws chew and laugh
with a guttural battle cry
and our past and our future dies

one tree at a time.

Patricia Joan Jones

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