Monday, July 16, 2018

"Still Life" by Yoni Hammer-Kossoy

"Forest" Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
Still Life

The days and weeks
are ranks of planted pines.

Sunlight buzzes 
through open canopy.

In the understory
tight fists of seed

wait in vain
for a flame's caress.

--Yoni Hammer-Kossoy 

Poet’s Notes:  I love the specificity of the word “understory”, how it gives a name to the space between a forest’s floor and the tops of its trees. Yet there’s also something mysterious evoked by the word – as if there’s always another level of understanding waiting to be discovered below the surface of something, like a walk in the forest, like a poem.

Editor’s Note:  Successful short poems such as this one are difficult to compose, as every word must count at least once.  Some, as in "flame's" in the stunning final line, may carry double duty (flame as in the sun or the actual fire that some species of evergreens require for reproduction).

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