The eyes are the first thing to go: more Instagram epigrams

I’ve taken to walking all the way down and back up the mile-and-a-half-long Plummer’s Hollow Road every day now, and what’s curious is that, despite having walked this road many thousands of times in my life, I still notice two or three new things every time. You can see a lot just by looking, as Yogi Berra supposedly said. Of course, most of what I see are trees. And many observations don’t make good photos — but a few do. And by the time I get back to the house, sometimes I’ve thought up a caption as well.

Log over stream with eye-shaped opening on the side and fur-like moss on top.
The eyes are the first thing to go, melting back into the head, murmurs my lover, the undertaker’s assistant.

Maple tree with large vine going up it, covered in the same blue-gray lichen that covers its own bark.
Poison ivy is best recognized by its disguises, the way it mistakes familiarity for abuse.
Tree root emerges from the ground and loops back in, bark beginning to peel like a leaf, as if mimicing the ferns dangling down beside it.
In dreams, everything is in the process of becoming something else. In nature, too.
A very sinuous tree root doubling back twice before disappearing into the ground.
There are words no one has a word for and things no one has a thing for yet.
Close up of a rock with a wavey pattern of mud reminiscent of a child's drawing of a flock of gulls.
Whatever wings I once dreamt I had have dwindled to an occasional shrug.
Close of a thin branch pruned in two places with a large beech tree in the background.
I knew a lumberman who was afraid to walk in the forest. A tree might fall on you, he said.
An aging jack o'lantern with a big grin at the base of a large tree out in the woods.
On the Day of the Dead, I don gloves and drench my trousers in Permethrin.
A bare log with complex arborglyphs made by bark beetle larvae.
Truly nomadic thinking is like a map of the world: impossible to reproduce on dead tree media without distortion.
The heart-shaped leaves of wild yam.
A paper heart is nothing without that fold demarcating systole and diastole, call and response.
The brown, sawed end of a log, half invaded with a white mold.
More than merely rewriting the past, nostalgia overwrites it with longing for a time when time didn’t pass.
A smooth area on the bark of a black gum with bumps that could be eyes, ears, nose and mouth, each with bare twigs poking out of them.
Evil is such a growth area. Why would I not see, hear or speak it?
Another arboreal face, this time on a beech, with wide eyes looking upward.
Where I live, you can’t see the horizon, but the harsh croaks of ravens echo wonderfully.
A short section of a old wooden fence with a large walnut tree growing between the top two rails, which have warped around it as it grew.
We grow so comfortable within our walls we no longer believe we’re in prison.
Dead cherry snag riddled with den holes.
It’s not that we’re dead. It’s just that the lives we harbor are no longer our own.

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4 Comments




  1. “Bahookie Bladder Blather”
    (for Donald Trump — in the aftermath)

    The speech of pee
    instantly instigates
    the tinkle of music,

    but the dick of death
    dismembers the embers
    of December.

    ***

    Reply

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