Painting by: Simone Martini, The Chapel of St. Martin, Assisi, Italy


The arboretum in the Botanical Gardens
The trees in individual tubs
Standing there quite different from one another
Like a cast of characters.
There was a flowering tree from the Mediterranean
And it has white blooms with a gardenia-like fragrance
And it is called Plena.

The tree she touches she would touch all of them
Every one a different timbre
The post office of the new leaves
After the spring gale the old man stoops to
Pick them up because they are so obvious.
The windows and which things in them
The sidestreet she will prefer for a torsel
Or the children who play in one of the courtyards
And she will go in the courtyard and watch them
For a minute until she remembers
The slant of the evening and something in the next block
And the brambled islets chorded with birds.

What lightning gleans in the way of ground
The early quarrying and synchronizing of fishes
Tosses block on block until gobbling clappers
Pound in bronze maws and steeples flash.
The roaring bells reiterate
The metal of her loins
As rooks rope from their cotes
And unroofed houses trumpet.

Kenneth Tindall

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