On Tamaracks

Tom Thomson tomthompsonart.ca

Tom Thomson

The danger of solitude
is that a poet should forget
his place in the order of things
what with ongoing dialogue
with his cat or his dog

In the glow of first`light
he easily becomes a cloud
set afire like dry cedar shavings
a red flash in white smoke
too soon turned into ash

In the dusky rose`garden
he becomes the white gull
low across the purple sea flying
westward to the lost island
from which none returns

In the heat of the day
who is he but the old horse
in the pasture his rump leaning
against a fence`pole his tail
swishing away the flies

The monastic sits alone
atop Mt Athos haunting god
only to return as an apocalyptic
The mystic parses her spirit
plumbing enlightenment

A poet left too long alone
among the ents of a wilderness
may find he’s become a tamarack
whose deciduous amber`gold
lies spent on a forest’s floor

“A sky. A field. A hedge flagrant with gorse.
I’m trying to remember, as best I can,
if I’m a man dreaming I’m a plowhorse
or a great plowhorse dreaming I’m a man.” ~ Paul Muldoon


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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7 Responses to On Tamaracks

  1. Michael Rush says:

    What a beautifully written poem! I think this is a suitably imaginative depiction of the poet which manages to call upon some of the more traditional and ancient ideals of a poet and capture them with vivid imagery. A really enjoyable read.


  2. Mish says:

    So thought-provoking! The idea of the poet becoming almost lost in his own work, blending into his own imagination and creations…wow. This is wonderful.


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