Epistle of the Leaves

“Take courage, Holy Parents of Pharcitae, udes adonitas — no one is immortal.”
~ Inscription in the Cave of the Coffins, Beit She’arim

Bindwood, lovestone, grief’s greenest eraser:

see how the slightest wind ruffles the ivy.
See how they flourish on walls, erupt

in every breach, more unruly than graffiti.
So many signatures, cascading. In the trees,
a bird sings one, sad note and snaps

a brown moth out of the air. Who
authors the scope of what can be seen
or told? I read how Newton took a bodkin

and put it betwixt the eye and the bone
as neare to the backside of his eye as he could
Imagine the circles of color that pulsed

beneath his lids on the verge of light:
white darke, blewish darke. The eye
was not hurt, he wrote. Though at the fall

of feathers, a sifting of soft dust
from the sill or the eaves, the hand
instinctively flies up to cover the face—

So the green tendrils pin their fragile
geometry against the gate, admitting
what the soul has done in its defense.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Landscape, with Repeating Sounds

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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