At Wekiwa Springs


Under pineapple-skinned cabbage palms,
Snaky twigs lie without sin or slither,
And though I hardly notice,
Grounded, rusted leaves grimace
With the slightest lizard’s twitter,

Nearer the green-blade lavender bells,
The sweetgum glade dampens
And drains three feathery swells
Of muffled, downy chatter.

One unswerving squirrel follows
And, stalwartly squaring up to me,
Pulls my suspenders close and screams,
Adenoidally, “I am not afraid!”
I replay my ally’s tattered roar,
And he, allayed, tangos away.

I wonder, as I wander on,
And I want to ask him, “Was our
Ragged jungle rumba rabid?”
Somehow we seem too sane for that.
And anyway his leave’s been taken.

Through the whisker-ended fronds,
The sun’s fragmented light belies
A golden, woven mesh of silk
And listless, whiz-less flight
Of gossamer demise.

These no-see-ums’ peeving bites
Leave me like the Hindu wives.
And while I am perhaps less pleased
To bear my burdensome red dots,
The bridal coterie and I push on,
More and less devout.

Casually advancing, we eavesdrop,
Then we stop and listen.
The purring soprano ebb and croak
Of the cloaked tree-frog’s metronome
Echoes the ever-murmuring rhythm.

It is here but a moot note,
As worriment is far diluted,
And the mind is nearly muted.

At this wieldy time,
At this humble, pulseless time,
The yielding modulation cradles
And raises my tangled, Bedlamic veil.

Bickering wings, discreetly breezeless,
Half-open beaks hiss Fascist fits
Against the pearly mouths bucktoothed,
Like the peevish, tickling ballyhoo
Of restless, can-water fizz.

I breathe a sultry, soothing ruse,
A balmy, lemon-jasmine chest:
One that forgot or never knew
The concrete crest of crass progress.

And, alas, aghast, an accidental comer,
Ducking under brushy branches,
A cosmopolitan stammer,
The sound, a blameless human tambour,
Abides my head afresh to yammer.

And once again I wonder
What happens to the raccoons
When the city plugs the sewer holes.

Jamison Lee. Currently living in Ohio.