Agate-barked hickories stretch tall,
reaching with spun crystal branches
to rake the unprotected bottoms
out of passing cotton-wool clouds.
Misty shreds lay strewn across
wrought-iron roots in the clearing,
dew-bedecking the tinseled grass.
An aqua-vitae stream pools briefly.
Night-light diamond stars peer down
between the hurrying, scurrying clouds
while the moon stands silver sentinel,
alternately polishing and tarnishing.
Beyond the familiar moonlit clearing,
the emerald-leaved forest is deep –
unmapped, formless and trackless –
a beauty in which to lose one’s self.
The sparkling dotted-line trail
of steel bread crumbs is comforting;
but somewhere back in the distance,
the titanium crows begin calling.