Poetry: The Force

The fuse is lit. 

Equinoxes arrive like clockwork, 

along with our yearnings,  

but the bud is spontaneous, and local 

rain, clouds, temperature, and sunshine; 

on- or off-shore breezes,  

the hour fog burns off,  

elevation of hill and swale 

There’s always a warm side  

where daffodils cozy a foundation  

and ambush the un-expecting,  

like me.  


In the forest thermoclines  

Young trees debut their 

leaves before the older 

the season on the forest floor,  

is not the same as the canopy,   

where raptor winter  

still perches,  

talons out for a downward swoop  

on extended wings.  

I’ll tighten my scarf today. 


Trees tell time 

and what time feels like.  

Breakfast is where the syrup is. 

We sit there 

soaking up all available light and heat,  

gauging whether this is the day  

for rolling up our flannel sleeves 

to leaf out. 


There’ll be more snow  

– a fleeting ground cover 

Open-water fishing beckons, 

while ice on the lake 

still supports a snowmobile 


Doesn’t spring make us feel like saplings?  

Even hunched by ice and snow;  

branches broken, our bark deer-nibbled;  

timid from persistence of cold;  

wary of shocking our tender new growth at branch tip 

we also start new annual ringin our heartwood.  

By god the elasticity of mud encourages;  

sap will flow to our feet;  

stir our tuberous souls 


There are yet three months until lupines 

four until raspberries 

five until blueberries cover the barrens 

Bears too stir in contemplative, fitful slumber,  

appetites recharging, dreaming of low-hanging bird feeders.   

Somewhere the early bird watches the constellations  

thinking “The worm, the worm!”  

Are we too that bird?  

The force that to the bird feeder brunch drives the bear  

drives me 


—Todd R. Nelson 

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