Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Divine Vaccinium

The sweetest orb, and finest fruit
That ever sprang up from the root;
Wild of branch, on forest floors,
Among the ledges in taller hedges,
Or between rocks, low and clustered flocks.
Untamed by hand, but cultivated by God.

To climb the mount, stretch out the hand
And gather the bounty from the land.
Not just one, but by the handful.
Look around, there's a whole land full
Of them, covering the summit.
Warm from the sun and tight with juice,
Which squirts when pressed between the tooth.

Oh the blueberry! O the Joy!
A whole sky, a whole mountain, the whole earth,
All distilled to one small ball,
One indigo ornament.
Not one. A mouthful. A bucketful.
A belly full, with stained lips
And a tongue dyed with their glory.
Until you have gathered wild blueberries,
And shoveled them into your mouth,
So that they explode into your brain,
On a mountain
in July...

Your life is an empty, dry and flavorless proposition.

1 comment:

Wyman said...

AVI and I once went hiking up by Elephant Head and became quite lost. Several hours into our venture, we emerged exhausted, dehydrated and quite starving onto the top of Elephant Head itself, which we were overjoyed to discover is covered with hundreds of wild blueberry bushes. We happily engorged ourselves for half an hour before summoning the strength to make our way down the slope and to our car.

All other blueberries have paled to the comparison of that day. If only we'd had this poem to recite in appreciation.