Copyright 2012 Paul Belz
TRICKSTERS AROUND THE BEND
Daddy and Derf, your ghosts rest in shade,
deep in lime moss. You glance from behind
straight beeches and oaks, stare from the center of roots
that lift a fir above a dead stump.
Have you become little gray toads
skipping through mud, or cool air that flows
through limestone cracks? Were you ice
that split these cliffs? Dad with sea chanteys.
Shakespeare, Hemingway, poker and dice;
Derf and the Grateful Dead, Gurdijeff,
frayed jeans, and Clockwork Orange smirk;
dudes who loved rattlesnakes, lichens, and stars-
are you deer watching from green shadows,
eagles in pines? Maybe you’re manic lightning,
pileated woodpeckers’ slow thuds,
murmur from the almost silent stream,
and birdsong’s echo through this silence.
Dad, with your Beethoven, hot chili and port;
Derf with your Frank Zappa and Rolling Rock;
men who loved these bear and fungus woods-
you tumble in quiet rain
For Joe Belz (1903-1962) and Derf Reever (1953-1976)