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Saturday, September 7, 2019

In the Empire of Rustling Leaves

for Diane Seuss

Here close to the center
Of the known world
I administer to an empire
Of rustling leaves

The world is wordless 
But far from silent
Alive with the music of things
The arpeggio of wind as it
Plays up and down the trunks
Of nearby oaks and elms
All the while conducted
By some sightless being

Of each acorn drop
The squirrels duly take note
Nature abhors nothing
Not even a vacuum
But chooses rather to fill it
With a harmony of
Ceaseless pings

Birds are not not-birds
Except when they tweet
Silence offers nothing but
Always comes complete
And the great awakening  
Is really no awakening at all
For although mind may be stilled
The world itself keeps singing

(not sure of the source of this great photo)

For @vchangpoet

There are no best poems
There never were and
Never will be yet
Only those that linger longest and
Which we are least likely to forget
Poetry being merely a mnemonic
So that spirit may outlive the flesh

A funny thing about this poem fragment - I composed and sent it as a tweet to the poet Victoria Chang in response to something she had posted (a quote from someone else I think) about how there are no longer any "best poems" due to the democratization of American poetry. Her response was to promptly block me from her Twitter account.
How strange but this is a problem that continues to dog me when I brush up against the world of more established poets -- how quickly they seem to take offense. Elsewhere I've called this my Don Share problem for he was the first luminary of the poetry establishment to block me from reading his tweets. So much for the democratic, free and open exchange of ideas and verse! In any case, it certainly diminishes the likelihood of remembering a poem when you have chosen to block it from view in the first place.