by Anne Stevenson.
In this picture I preside. I usher in
River and bathers, the green garden.
This tall white birch is my lively cocoon.
Out of it I spin chervils – marriages, babies.
All my blown hair is seed, is a tide in bloom,
Furious as history, indifferent as it is.
In this picture I persuade. I lead men in,
Conduct them through the garden.
Composed, smooth-headed in my spidery greys,
I drop their lines precisely, deploy them
Precisely. These are the criers out in my displays.
Their outrage burns in words as I destroy them.
In this last picture I work alone.
I kill roots to plant stone.
I bring to hard soil no fruit, no hurt.
No cry issues from my burnt hillside.
Green burden and echo wait under my foot
For the igneous reaches, the granite tide.
From : Anne Stevenson , Poems 1955-2005.
Bloodaxe Books 2004.