Bolling Grove, Avenue of the Giants Stop #2
Each ecosystem makes its own set of rules,
coordinates for this, logarithms for that.
In this canopy, at the axis of x (being the limb)
and y (being the trunk), the years accumulate
their treasures of fallen needles and twigs.
The mat builds and builds. The air grows
more humid above it, with its spongy
corridors, with its microbial cities. Salamanders
move in with their small possessions to feast.
The hawks land and survey the silvery distance.
And a dogwood tree grows ownerless and lovely,
200 feet up, its roots clenched tight in the limb
of the redwood. The arboreal salamanders
live out their lives up here, their small
black feet never once touching the ground.
In the afternoon breeze that carries in the fog,
the dogwood claps out a soft applause,
exponents for continuing this existence.