This entry is part 88 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

The beech tree has seven eyes
where limbs used to be,
each of them gazing upward.

Down below, the scars
of old, knife-cut graffiti:
Smoke Up. Fly High. Manson Lives.

A warbler in the crown
of a neighboring oak,
its shadow crossing my face.

This entry is part 87 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

The first surveyor—1795—
labeled this mountain Violet Hill.
Did he study it in the blue distance,

or see right at his feet
the crowds of violets fluttering
under the attention of the rain?

A warbler just back from the tropics
sings quietly, as if trying to locate
all the notes.

This entry is part 86 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

That gobbling on the ridge:
turkey, or turkey hunter?
That whistle: factory or train?

I follow a vole’s progress
by watching where the grass trembles—
until a breeze springs up.

How the weasel must hate the wind!
And how it must strive to sound
exactly like it.

This entry is part 85 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

A haze of jewelweed sprouts,
the dimpled embryonic leaves
like conjoined twins.

From the valley, the sound
of horses pulling a buggy
in their eight steel shoes.

The crooked sassafras—
something has found under its bark
a blood-colored door.

This entry is part 84 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

Fungi are like us—
absorbing oxygen, releasing CO2.
This puffball is an abandoned factory.

I nudge the intact wall
with the point of my umbrella.
It’s all out of smoke.

Ovenbirds and the black morel,
writes a friend.
Impossible to see.

This entry is part 83 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

After all-night rain,
the forest floor is soft
and full of give.

A birch log collapses
when I step on it, but the bark
arches back after I pass.

New ferns uncoil,
heads slowly dissolving
into spine and ribs.

This entry is part 82 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

Clouds hide the top of Ice Mountain
and it looks like a real mountain again,
no turbines in sight.

Below, the ugly subdivision
where a black family once woke
to a burning cross.

I find a shed antler on the powerline,
a twisted Y like the bottom half
of a stick figure.

This entry is part 81 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

A small cloud on the cliff
above the railroad tracks—
the shadbush is in bloom.

As I drive up the hollow on
our one-lane road, a red-tailed hawk
passes me going down.

All the spring ephemerals are emerging,
leaves wrinkled and damp
like freshly pitched tents.

This entry is part 80 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

I eat my enemies by the handful:
spicy leaves of the invasive
garlic mustard.

Back home, I strip
in front of the mirror,
checking for ticks.

A squirrel walks past the window
with bulging cheeks,
carrying one of her young.

This entry is part 79 of 91 in the series Toward Noon: 3verses

Mayapples are coming up:
green parasols shedding
the soil as they open.

A coyote trots across the road,
looking back
over its shoulder.

Above the trembling surface
of the vernal pond,
the first warblers’ buzzy songs.