Perched, a red-winged blackbird watching me,
its fencepost newly staked, bark on, topside down.

At arm’s length, rusted fence pliers bounce along a span of wire.
One. Two. Three. “Hemlock, see, twists over time—”
that’s Cunningham’s voice, “stretches the wire.
Set one post wrong-way-to and it’ll sag right there.”

Came a day I read Seamus Heaney
and with newfound pride—my own name
and that red-winged blackbird there,
down Vernon River way.


Seamus Heaney wrote a fabulous poem titled St. Kevin and the Blackbird.


Here he is: Bob Cunningham. Bob passed on 24 Feb., 2016


Standing.  Alone.
A yellow sky.  A shudder, grind
And hesitation of the earth.
Below, black seas heave and sigh
Against a scar of land.
Night.  Yellow sky remains.
Arc and flicker.
I breathe.  Night fades.
A shallow breath.
Acid rain falls gently.


Pangaea: Proto-continent existing hundreds of millions of years ago eventually breaking into two continental masses, Gondwana & Laurasia. Gondwana: made up of areas now Africa, most of Australia, India, South America & Antarctica.   Laurasia: North America, Greenland, Europe & Asia north of the Himalayas.

I put myself there, at the sundering.

Published in: “souls arriving” 2006: “Letter to the White Imbongi” 2013: “3201 e’s” 2018

Hymn of the Fallen Tree

Let me rest among these giant souls that stand
where trees once stood.

Here, greens break into blacky-blues and dragonflies
and dusts of beetle dung grow old withal.

Let me rest among the salmonberry and the tumblewood
of cotton, ash and hemlock, fir and cedar.

And let the wind stir of pine above the fall reawaken me
in early greens and sapling dress, anon.


This poem is an allegory. Published in: “souls arriving” 2006 as title “Tumblewood”: “Between Music and Dance” 2013: “Letter to the White Imbongi” 2013: “The Footprint Press” 2014: “3201 e’s” 2018.