Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Arrow-wood, Viburnum dentatum, has been earlier captured through flower and fruit. Now the greens and blues are fading and some reds and browns are moving in.

I'm becoming more aware of developed buds. Before long, they will become a primary identifier. Besides, they are really beautiful in their own right. :-)


for Forrest Gander

southern viburnum amid the laurel
among the spruce and hemlock
on ridges stalked by the Cherokee
and did not the green stems offer
the trim and narrow the true wood
for shafts? wrens nesting in the forks
rendered feathers the color of bark
for fletching leaf shape arrowpoint
a bird's beating heart the roots
were perfect for lashing the flint
tight so its missile could sing in flight
and sometimes the hunter kept
to shadows used the blue berries
for lure and sometimes he killed
a partridge in the remnant limbs
and cut a spit and kindling but other
times the man in stealth heard
the wind's voice where it gathered
in the boughs and gave it heed
and matched his steps to the rhythm
and sped along the dampened path
under a sky as dark as bartered tea

- R.T. Smith

Smith, R.T., Arrowwood. From Terrain.org A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments. Web. Google Search. 26 Oct 2009.


  1. "A sky as dark as bartered tea"...wonderful. - Joyce

  2. Mmm...it was so nice, wasn't it? :-)