Robert Ronnow
                                                        Brother Death


      Upside Down the Ancient Bole


The white-breasted nuthatch
upside down the ancient bole.
If it has no soul, neither do I.

Pencils criss-crossed on the desk,
sticks tangled on the ground.
Oblong lenticels, yellow stars.

We try to worship the divine
in our sexual partners. They shit and sweat diurnally
and fear their deaths. But the abstract

God has also died. He lied to say he was
eternal. Earth must burn, universe grow cold.
Old field species become ornamentals.

Mosquitoes prey on us, and black flies.
The body decays, and this is what you come
to love. And the ants that carry it away.

This morning, the profusion of species
contents me. The temperate zone is warm, late May.
The posture of that bird is good to emulate.


Copyright 2001 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.