10 July 2018

a conversation between beings made of roots and smoke

In response to this drawing, Craig Anders York wrote a wonderful poem, which I include here with his kind permission.

( For Kate and Dan )
Roots don’t burn said Dog
Roots don’t burn
Tree made no reply
rustled just a bit with wind
The smell of things to me
is not the smell of things to you said Dog
There you have me Tree replied
I have no nose and please don’t ask me
how I smell
Ha Ha Ha barked Dog
That’s a good one but you do smell good in Spring
So the bees and butterflies and those odd little birds
with the odd little beaks
can’t remember what they’re called
Hummingbirds said Dog
Too small for snacks too quick too high
Not great on conversation either Tree offered
but the rest
the bees and butterflies they come to my smell
to my flowers
and I feed them all
Who’s this said Dog
Old Smoke said Tree
the Ghost of Fire you summoned
I summoned?
How?
Roots said Tree Fire hates roots
His ghost comes round betimes
sulks a bit until the wind takes him off again
as you said Roots don’t burn
II
Old Smoke
the ghost of Fire
now holds his peace though he heard
Old Smoke is not the ghost he was
a thin rage held together
by the memory of strength
Old Smoke drifts a little closer
brushes Dog’s nose
Embraces Tree
murmurs I love you both
I am the Ghost of Fire
he says
I am also the Ghost of things that burned
Old Smoke lets go and leaves with the breeze
III
Not as I remembered him said Tree
There are Fires and Fires said Dog

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