When A Tree Presents Itself

Exploration of word and silence in search of the yamadori--collected bonsai--a poem and a tree in the wild. Bonsai, forest road, combining trail and word--this day of working wonder takes what uncertainty gives, on its way to becoming what is found there--new by fact and necessity.


Won from the street of the word,
I glimpse how it is in translation.
Not knowing how to find you in there
or how to go back another 100 years,
not knowing those words are yours,
not knowing which words.
Your words, not the work
of some committee.

Such a tree discovered in the wild.

The book came in the mail.
The poet came and left.
Little trees with big trunks
and all this weather.

Me on my way out of town.

Eyes frozen in telling wonder
sacrificing for a tape recorder.
I have to work, too.
Drop me a line sometime.
In speech like mine
it all starts by stopping,
starting again going sideways
little stutter steps
backwards and forwards
trackless like the woods
in poems sung a century later
before appearing on the other side--
no understanding--
none--how it all came to rest,
or turned into word and way.
How I see all of this from listening to her.
A kind of sideways drift

without dwelling there.
That's one way to never lose it.
Living out what's never been written down
but only told.
Living in a town where I don't live.

Jim Bodeen
1-9 November 2015

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