back ~ home ~ up ~ next



The Track of a Storm

Bastille Day, 1995


We grieve for the twelve trees we lost last night,

pillars of our community, old friends

and confidants dismembered in our sight,

stripped of their crowns by the unruly winds.

There were no baskets to receive their heads,

no women knitting by the guillotines,

only two sleepers rousted from their beds

by fusillades of hailstones on the screens.

Her nest shattered, her battered hatchlings drowned,

a stunned and silent junko watches me

chainsawing limbs from corpses of the downed,

clearing the understory of debris

while supple saplings which survived the blast

lay claim to light and liberty at last.


Timothy Murphy



From The Deed of Gift, Story Line Press,

1998.  Reprinted by permission of the author and
Story Line Press, Ashland, Oregon.


Background by
Bobbie Peachey

back ~ home ~ up ~ next