Tuesday, November 30, 2010

House of Sticks

House of Sticks

Lindy has a thing for picking up sticks
wherever she goes—the park, of course,
but also parking lots, surprisingly, with
their flotsam of trash, will sometimes
yield souvenirs of trees, and people’s
front yards where a tree clapped its hands
and threw a twig, and the ocean coughs up
sticks among the kelp, wrecked histories
of trees from foreign lands, stories caught
in their cellulose and they’ll never tell.

Lindy has trampled on sticks, passed
many sticks by with hardly a glance.
She has picked up a stick and then
thrown it away. She has walked
with a stick and then cast it aside,
as if it had finished what it wanted
to say and its mystery was solved.

But some whisper to Lindy and Lindy
picks them up, holds them up to the sky,
turns them this way and that, studying
their curvature or architecture or God
knows what. Maybe she imagines
a skeleton with that bone of the tree.
Whatever they say, whatever they are
is for Lindy alone, her ears and her eyes,
and she won’t explain why if you ask
her, only shrug with indifference
holding on to the stick. And that stick
comes home, joins others in jars,
and Lindy’s house is a tree
of myriad limbs, a Joseph’s coat
of a tree. It must sing like a choir
only Lindy can hear, as branches
grow over the windows and doors,
break through the roof and reach
for the sky.


Scott said...

somehow, this just "sticks" in my mind as an excellent writing :-)

sorry, couldn't be helped!

The Bug said...

Gorgeous - I love the choir of trees!

Monkey Man said...

Lindy is quite a stickler for her twigs and branches. (This is Scott's fault - as you know, I never use bad puns)

Gerry Snape said...

Wonderful...I'm liking Lindy a lot. I can't help picking things up. Great poem.

Titus said...

Oh yes, EO, that is class writing.
Opening with the name, Lindy, and then the use of it throughout, interwoven with the sticks - just brilliant. Loved it. Bravo.

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

... a Joseph's coat of a tree ...


Enchanted Oak said...

Scott and Monkey Man:
I'll stick up for a bad pun anytime.

Karen said...

Chris - You are one seriously gooood writer! The personification - trees clapping their hands and ocean coughing up sticks - is especially effective. I love the use of Lindy throughout. I see her clearly.

Terra said...

Lindy knows which sticks are hers, and I enjoyed this post.

Andrew said...

Oh yes. Lindy knows.

Stafford Ray said...

At first reading I thought Lindy was a dove or other stick gathering bird but eventually realised she is a person with a passion that is out of the ordinary, but no less strange in its way than collecting cigarette cards used to be. Of course it begs the question... who is she to you? Or maybe she is you!

Cad said...

Quite so - things have to FEEL right to be accepted into the fold...

Peter Goulding said...

I like the tree clapping its hands. You do personification so well.
(I'm assuming Lindy is a dog and not some mad relation!)

Enchanted Oak said...

Ha! So Lindy's not a bird! Is she my dog, my daughter, my eccentric aunt?

I sat down at my desk yesterday morning, glanced at the bouquet sitting there, and noticed that both the cherry twig and magnolia twig in the bouquet are alive and their buds are swelling.

Lindy was born, like Athena from Zeus, right out of my forehead, fully formed, armed, and named.

Syd said...

Lindy reminds me of someone I knew who had a fascination for leaves and pine cones. Each had to be perfect before it would be picked up and carried back.

Magpie said...

Oh, you creative thing you!!
Something as simple as that chance glance at your bouquet and you give birth!! :)

budh.aaah said...

Wow what a beautiful poem and though Lindy be born right out of ur forehead nevertheless connects us to so many Lindy's across the globe :) Glad I stopped by and read this

RNSANE said...

I thought Lindy was some speciL pet who brought home lovely things
( not dead rats and birds ), treasures that you place about your home. You write so brilliantly, Chris, I hang on to every word.

Woman in a Window said...

I like that Lindy. Feel her 'round here some. Saw her in a movie last night. Vaguely remember her from a book. Heard of her once in a song. Yup, like that Lindy and her ways.