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Fearful that nature will not survive us,
I am lured to the undulating floor
of a cathedral of trees,
the russet canopy a colander straining
sun rays, allowing light to drip through
and announce the morning in earnest.
One sapling bullies its way into belonging;
others observe with patience, no judgment.
Nursing logs, the altars for rituals,
offer comfort and sustenance
to congregants unsure of prayer.
They gather by need, by awe, by chance,
stunned by rainbow streaks of lichen
spattered on these maternal platforms
from a divine bucket of paint.
No choir, no organ—trees tune the winter wind,
create a symphony of motion,
movements with no baton,
orchestrated by grass roots.
I focus on the intricate lace connecting
trees in the morning brilliance,
the dewy vision a web
woven by a vacant landlord.
Leaving the forest, I see a sky
so thick with blue it seems
smeared on with finger paints.
My fears allayed, my hope restored,
I linger on the path that takes
the long way home.
I am the sound of the cricket chirping a welcome
to the night of stars,
the crowing of the rooster awakening you to rise
to the music of the traffic.
I am the scales you practiced as a child
which made your teacher wince,
the dripping of the faucet grabbing your attention
when you don’t want to hear.
I am the clicking of a pen by an absent-minded student
next to you in the library,
the winter rain drops on the tin roof tapping out a steady sequence
And all along you thought I was an inconvenient noise
and put up with my presence.
I am sound without judgement, the identifier of tones.
No tree falls without my accompaniment.
Without me you would miss the aria that casts a spell on you,
steals away your breath,
hear the lullaby that rocks you to sleep
and infuses your dreams.
Without me you would be monolingual and never speak in worldly tongues.
Bless me for reaching out to you.
A deliberate winter wind from the dark side
of distant moons blows down to earth,
travels through ozone holes, from mountain
tops to gorges deep, across the Steppes,
Gobi Desert, Iowa plains, tundra, glaciers,
lands down under, through abandoned mines,
under rocks, and into ravines.
Scoops up idle gossip, quips from icy lips,
malevolent auras, ill intent, whines,
whispers, groans, curses and prayers of doom.
Lands them in the evening trees
where they dangle from shaking branches
like an unbalanced mobile.
If you listen sleeplessly, you can hear
it play sour notes on an atonal keyboard.
Evie Groch, Ed.D. is a Field Supervisor/Mentor for new administrators in Graduate Schools of Education. Her opinion pieces, humor, poems, short stories, recipes, word challenges, and other articles have been widely published in the New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Contra Costa Times, The Journal, and Games Magazine. Many of her poems are in published anthologies. Her short stories, poems, and memoir pieces have won her recognition and awards. Her travelogues have been published online with Grand Circle Travel. The themes of travel, language, and immigration are special for her.