Tom Kirlin

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Cherry Tree
to JCK

All day long the red-mouthed sun
kissed & kissed the cherry tree.

Willow, light, leaf—all faint—
leaves faint, planting deaf feet

branch, bark, tree—all spin to sleep.
Oh beloved, oh fallen ones, do you not

see beneath ice sheets how earth breathes?
Have you not watched geese plow

the corn-silk sky, veer far beyond hills
of grief to nestle, cold, on water, relieved?

Lamentations of swans wreath the empty sky.
Below, fish listen for it, one eye to the moon;

white as any beach, snow owls dream of it
of lightning—for nothing, nothing suffers darkness

in peace: snow branch bud water geese cloud
all dream, you & I dream, you, rising tree

all winter long, you stood naked before me—
for what? Not to greet swans; not to see distant geese

no—you grow your own green eden, day after day
knowing the red-mouthed sun kissed & kissed the cherry tree.

from Under the Potato Moon
Little Red Tree Publishing, LLC, 2013

Tom Kirlin is a lapsed farmer, iambic fundamentalist and reluctant transcendentalist. He lives in Washington, D C and won the Larry Neal Award for poetry. Under the Potato Moon, a 2013 first book of poems, was sponsored by the William Meredith Foundation.

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