Heart of the Matter
This blasted oak with its valentine wound
harbors a rotten core, is riddled with fungus.
At first, I find it romantic, then recognize
a metaphor portraying torn friendship.
Months of intimacy abruptly sundered
without explanation or warning.
What was playful now dark, deformed,
pallid mushrooms feeding off death.
Despite a ripped away heart, the host puts on
a good show, new leaves. Stubborn tap roots persist.
forms a thick wall,
hovers over chill ocean.
Haze dilutes landscapes, blurs
angular cypress, golden sand
of Carmel River Beach.
Mist and spindrift
infuse saturated atmosphere,
exude vague mystery.
Blue sky floats high
above a sullen smear
of purple miasma.
Fat kelp flies hang and scold
in the still, fetid air.
Crisp foxtails deconstruct into straw
near seer rattlesnake grass.
Below a petrified path, chill surf
slaps and snarks at dark ocean stone.
Waves lift and smash ashore,
spill rotten seaweed and gulls.
Sweaty hikers seek absent shade,
lift reddened arms, catch the transient breeze.
Around us, wilderness combusts.
The thermometer climbs as distant hills burn.
Jennifer Lagier is seeking herself when not hunting for metaphors, trails, good shots and snakes.