Loren Eiseley – Another Kind of Autumn
The petrified branch with the harsh look whose mineralized
splinters are needle sharp
was living a hundred million years ago,
bent to invisible wind, put out leaves on the mountain.
the mountain is gone and this fragment
lies on my desk imperishable and waits for me in turn
to be gone.
Living once it has taken to minerals for survival.
The hand that writes
stiffens, but has no such powers, no crystalline absorption
to hold a pen through eons while slow thought gutters
from lichen-green boulders and fallen pinnacles.
Ink will congeal and perish, the pen rust into its elements,
the thought here, the realization of time, perish
with the dissolving brain. It appears the universe
likes the seams of the coal, the lost leaf imprinted in shale,
the insect in amber, but thought it gives to the wind
like the season’s leaf fall. Where is the wind that shaped
It perhaps still moves in the air, but the branch has fallen.
Its unfamiliar leaves are now part of my body
and I let the pen drop with my hand, thinking
this is another kind of autumn to be expected.
Leaves and thought are scarcely returnable.
or one remains in the shale like an unread hieroglyph
once meaningful in clay.
Date: October 5, 2012
Categories: Loren Eiseley