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Departments

Poetry
Summer Reading
I'm reading. A gold-tipped insect lands
on the page, following each word.
I wonder if (a) he's a fan of Proust,
(b) sees each letter as another insect, and
(c) am I obligated to keep reading
this unfortunate choice
on such a humid day?

I study him.
His Groucho eyebrows grab me.
I rise gingerly, carry him in state
inside the open book
while I select another
from a shrinking stack.

And settle back.
The insect hops on, but takes off
by page 2, unwilling to waste time
on best-sellers, I guess. Or maybe
I'm overthinking this, and he was just in it
for the madeleine.
-- Roberta Swann

June Song
The poplar's green abundance
reflects a simple scheme:

roots, branches, leaf after leaf --
individual parts

advancing on their own
in patterns that slowly shift

as if to one long plan.
I envy that accord.

Each opening bud repeats
the fundamental steps --

grow out to catch the light,
catch light to grow --

all in a summer's dance.
It never seems to change.

Thickening trunk that lifts
a wind harp, web of limbs

I've watched for years tell time,
you follow a strict score.

In fall your leaves will show
their true colors,

will slip the brittle twigs
and blow.
-- Don Bogen


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OnEarth. Summer 2006
Copyright 2006 by the Natural Resources Defense Council