kelly shepherd ≈ trees reflected




most widely



in North America,

with a narrow,

rounded crown of thin foliage. Leaves:

alternate; nearly

round, abruptly short-pointed, rounded at base;

finely saw-toothed, thin. Shiny green above, dull green

beneath; turning

golden yellow in autumn before

shedding. Leafstalks

slender, flattened. Bark: whitish, smooth, thin;

on very large



ing dark





sometimes about

about the weather, sometimes about animals,

from trees: sometimes

in nature. But I have learned a lot

to other voices

to listen to the Indians so I don’t suppose they’ll listen

white people don’t listen. They never learned

listen. Trouble is,

other, and they’ll talk to you if you

talk to each

Well they do. They


that trees

you know




Walking Buffalo, of the Stoney people of Alberta, cited by David Kinsley, Ecology and Religion: Ecological Spirituality in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall, 1995 (p. 47-48).

Steven Whitney, ed. Western Forests: A Comprehensive Field Guide. New York: Alfred E. Knopf, 1998 (p. 390).



the shift


The snap of a twig underfoot:

just enough time to witness

the ease of a grebe’s dive into lakewater,

or a duck’s lift from the surface into flight.

Enough to see how it might be done:

the shift from element to element.

The snap of a twig underfoot:

and what is a human being?





the lake and her


muscles quiver, hair

plasters into sand-patterns,

water droplets chime the surface

fingernails leave white lines,

which turn pink

and don’t hurt until you’re dry



bon (good) fire


Smoke-sniffle, sap-dotted palms, smoky shirt,

O the day after an evening fire.

O the fire:

entranced by this living bright hot

crackle glow dark orange dance of wood,

we always sit too close.

The rising sparks

like prayers;

the waves of heat on our faces,




from pocket notebook poems” – untitled



bee, fall

ing drunk head

first into



may you never

be sober



One thought on “kelly shepherd ≈ trees reflected

  1. daen says:

    what a most wonderous and wise group of poems, the flow of them is magic, tks so much,
    enjoyed the read

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