Careful

by Jonathan Billig

What you say can and will
Be launched into forever.
After the frost comes
Springtime, but first, the gaping
Winter, the scattering of oak and beech
Leaves (over hundreds and millions of years,
The genus spreads outward from the equator,
Glaciers flow north and south,
Human words unravel, tell).

Careful what you say
Of these hills and mountains,
Sparks of sunlight in the valley plain,
Trample of footsteps, hooves
And stone walls in the village,
Agony, apathy, ecstasy of
The fire, the circle,
Ash-strewn dance.
The smell of burning sage,
smell of bodies.

Mindful of this world’s voice,
In the throat, sun on the body,
Water welling into eyes.
Teardrops flowing,
Hiking trails.

Care-free, scrub oak, paper birch,
My heart inflamed approaching summit, senses
Flare before the peak.
We are beaming land around the sky,
Streaming sky pervades the land,
And I am free
With the care of this world.

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