by Michael Goldman
I’m not just trying to convince you
that trees don’t stand still. And I don’t mean
how they plunge and sway in the winter
like spirits leaning together singing psalms
or how the pine needles move in the sunshine
all along the branches like fractal choreography
of fractioned light. Everyone knows that already.
What you’re not prepared for is how trees run
across continents, spread their seed, mutate,
evolve, over generations put miles behind them,
seeking always the most optimal conditions
already prepared for them as they arrive.
In our St. Vitus dance trees seem inert
yet we keep returning to the same places
as if we never moved, and our dancing
in place and our evolutions seem not so far
removed as the seasons change and we’re still
here, while what we set in motion is spiraling,
out beyond our reach, pushing the limit.
About the Author
Poet Michael Favala Goldman (b.1966) is also a jazz clarinetist, and educator and a widely-published translator of Danish literature. Over 140 of his translations and poems have appeared in literary journals. Among his fifteen translated books are The Water Farm Trilogy by Cecil Bødker, Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen (a Penguin Modern Classic), and Something To Live Up To – Selected Poems of Benny Andersen. His first book of poetry, Who has time for this? was published in 2020. He lives in Florence, MA. www.hammerandhorn.net