Grey wood frames, roofless,
creaking in the wind;
papered with old moss velour and
curtained with tattered vines;
mould rises with the damp;
foundations are carpentered by ants
and termite powdered;
a heart rot hollow.
Pipes, split by winter’s freeze,
drip and flood in stagnant, tea-stained pools;
the standing dead
lean on wooden crutches
amid the broken saprophytic plates
and rotting bowls of burl;
old keys hang with nothing to unlock
amid foreclosed nests and drays.
The faded carpet musts beneath its litter of
Red Bull, RockStar, Coke….Lite of course…
take- out plastic trays and sodden napkins,
coffee cups with rolled-up rims
and shopping carts abandoned in the mud;
recycle urge the beer store bags……where laws permit ,
a scavenger collects the empties
as this neighbourhood awaits renewal.
Bryan Douglas Cook March, 2012, Ottawa
Context for Urban Forest in March
I walk my dog Tess in an urban forest behind a supermarket parking lot and in the vicinity of a large high school. I used a voice recorder for the first time to remember the images and metaphors that came to mind over three weeks of daily walks in March. The scavenger collecting the empties is actually me.....I have made a lot of money doing it and cleaning the environment in the process!I wondered whether an extended metaphor would work, but it seems that it did....you be the judge.
Read at Tree Reading Series, 27 March 2012