Don’t Harp about Memory

Trees in a forest cleared by deforestation

Photograph by Janusz Maniak on Unsplash

by Paul Freidinger —

“The passion for destruction is also a creative passion.”
—Mikhail Bakunin

Late October and seditious trees
skulk through the rainy night
in conspiratorial fervor, preserving
always the edict of silence.
Through curtained windows
in the neighborhood, shapes
lurch like thieves that deceive
by embodying shadows.

Some in denial cling
to their flagrant heads of leaves
as they shake them in fury.
Others drop all pretense
and bare their bulk and menace.
By morning they resume
meditative quiet of bronze sculpture
and understand the nether-mind
of radical transformation.

Anarchy can never destroy the weather
but only rage against it.
We see that death is one way
to stop time and long for the deep
root of earth-sleep as the trees
retreat into chambers of dreams
with chants of Bakunin, Bakunin,
open their subliminal mouths
like baby owls waiting to be fed
by a benevolent mother,
pleading, Bakunin, Bakunin.

Don’t harp about memory.
Gone is part of the first plan
while the trees plot covertly
to recruit waves of rain,
flakes of snow, foolish crows
that refuse to go. They know
about modulations of change
planets sing, they tune
their strings for another recital,
obstreperous child-gods
with a hormonal streak, forgetting

Paul Freidinger is a poet residing in Edisto Beach, SC, where, he can attest, the ocean is rising. He has published over 200 poems in journals from around the U.S. and has poems recently published or forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Basalt, Confrontation, 580 Split, Florida Review, Folio, Grist, Isthmus, Harpur Palate, Kentucky Review, Pacific Review, Portland Review, Potomac Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Roanoke Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, South Carolina Review, South Dakota Review, Triggerfish Critical Review, and The William & Mary Review.