J was for Juniper (Maia genus,
Jenna) – an ordinary
quiet little tree –
you find them everywhere in Rus,
U.S. One of the cedar family –
of which great masts are made
in Massa Maritima, she said;
& note the canoe, so beautifully
wrought, that graces this garage
full of rusted implements,
old iron junk (ribs,
tubes, gunnels, disjecta, garbage)...
– no, don’t kiss me now, it’s almost
Valentine’s. Here’s a letter
in the litter, from your brother
in Minneapolis (him & his boats!) –
expatiating on that Inland Ocean
stretching from Superior’s
index, through Mississippi
dells & vales (his new obsession)
leaving these microscopic spirals
...in the pervasive buttery
of the land... seashells, fan-whorls;
epitomized in one moist flesh-toned
stony nave & spire
(near 34th & 34).
Meek modern well-proportioned
masterpiece, harmonic matrix
of father & son (elegant
Eero, eerie Eliel) – bent
Saarinen ark, soaring to Beatrix
rondure... O navigators! Inching
over gravity waves,
black holes, ripe graves
of wombified Vikings... cinching
one planet with your splintery
buffeted facets of land
& sea) under Dancing Bear, Polaris!
I would scratch my cartoon of your fellowship
with the circumference
of an almond salience –
one bright Penny’s (legal, tender) skip.
A dove circles the Bay there, Columbia –
where the beats gather
spliced to twine pillar,
shrouds & safety nets of a still Finlandia –
wheeling wings, massed between sea
& cedar palisades,
Pacific rock parades
& sigh of spray... enveloping, visionary
finish at the prow of fiery
sunsets! & I recall
the rudder of it all –
kind capitan of Little Rhody,
prophet of soul liberty –
gold Independent Man
atop the mobile span
of Providence – abeam with charity!
Wrapped in cloud, the binding peaks
wink now with S.O.S.
Laurentian Divide is
where the waters separate – soul seeks
her Earth, commensurate with hope
– justice of Manitou
sluicing like rain (for you
& me) across wide prairie slope
to live-oak bottomland. My faint
hen-scratch... mere filament
to trace the lineament
of Kalevala-coracle – St.
Mary’s fishing-boat, or Paul’s
(vain little man, whose plan
would hook Leviathan) –
one rosy ark, riding the squalls
where refugees huddle for warmth & light.
O womb abrim with life,
grail-casket, Raven-knife –
matrix of River’s coppery might –
lift up your little pine apex!
Crown my origami fleet
with fir-green fin – beat
time with silver oar (moon reflex).