The Catalogue of Living Here


The maple measures out
the space its buds will need
for leaf

and flowers pick colours
from the charts laid out
in the darkness from which they grow.

Cedars curl their new fronds
around the curves their bumpy branches
will reach out to follow.

Salal decides among shades of green
it will pull in from the rain
to make shade under that green.


Crows don’t seek approval
from the tree before they commit
their evening murder in its branches.

The hummingbird’s buzz
is a respectful question
asked so fast of the flower.

And the blue jay’s head-tilt
requests the sky to allow
a share of blue in feathers.


I am alive in this live garden
and see this vibration and choice
of plants and birds as what they are

answer all the questions
they’ve never thought to ask.
That’s for me, but isn’t.