Poems by Daniel Solomon

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Erosion Librarian

by Daniel Solomon

From Canary Fall 2017

Danny grew up in the Middle Potomac Watershed. Currently he lives at a similar latitude among the redwoods of California's Coastal Range, where the rain and fog feed the San Francisco Bay.

the wind doesn't hear you speak.

your vibrations are wiped from your mouth
like foam spread on ripples,
fluid on surfaces unseen.

you can teach this nothing.
you can take no lessons.

high up, you can read no text.
but granite boulders fissure along programs.

there are signs in the stones. sheets snapped off at faults,
at misapprehensions in the cleaving of their crystals.

they make for thick,
one-page volumes you can pull from the rock, from shelves
eighty-seven hundred feet tall, black-&-white or pink.

juniper has grown around the boulders,
smothered one in the muscles of its trunk,

poured its dead heart-wood into the gaps
like magma lurching from quartzite – life

insisting on itself on the basis of soil from
its own sheddings, sand prepared by lichens,
by stone grinding on stone, by the sky.

this tree is built from air
& sunlight only.
it has a throat that searches the mountain.

it drinks very little.
it has hands that
hook into the earth,
hook against the mouth of the wind,
& the cold, high sea
that chews on stone,
& laps at the outer spaces
& does not speak.

junipers have roots that page like thumbs through granite leaves.

you have words that rattle air into hymns, into hums,
words you won't write, trees won't read.

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