About The Great Trees




I write about the great trees. That is, the sea of leaves, a coming darkness,
rising past the windows. I understand I may not understand.
Not everyone does. I accept it




like a train without an open seat
moving past mountains, coated with purple talc, that is part mysterious, for the most
part can be explained.
The wind, it is true, in the trees is a beautiful noise




like your lover beside you, afterwards, telling you the most
inconsequential, absorbing things. She is close to your ear and you edge closer.
I came here for peace, even though it may not come.
A child calls out in the quiet. The stillness has something of the silver
of the clouds.
I like to think the child is myself, of course, a long time ago.
I had a pure, open heart then. People walking on the street crushed the leaves, I wept.





Leonard Gontarek coordinates Peace/Works, Poetry In Common, Philly Poetry Day, hosts The Green Line Reading and Interview Series, is Poetry Consultant for Whitman at 200: Art and Democracy, and is a contributing editor for American Poetry Review. He is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Take Your Hand Out of My Pocket, Shiva. His poems have appeared in Field, Poet Lore, Verse Daily, Fence, Poetry Northwest, and Best American Poetry. His poem, “37 Photos From The Bridge,” was a winner for the Big Bridges MotionPoems project and the basis for the winning film from the Big Bridges poetry film contest sponsored by MotionPoems and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.

Latest Issue

Issue 86

More In This Issue