an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


Dan Richman


Let me know if you ever find

a clumsy tree,

if branches for example

trip all over themselves

in an ocean breeze or if

leaves stutter and choke

when tickled. If

any part of the tree

fails to flow and curtsey,

if anything flops,

tell me,

since that may be a glimpse

of Armageddon.

The only time

I see one falter

is when it’s cut

enough to crash to the ground. Once down

the dance is over,

the branches crushed or

pointing oddly,

leaves limp,

the trunk stiff in rigor mortis.


You say you cannot dance?

I commiserate. It was

given to us

first, before music,

before fire. When you dance

you are lifted into the rhythm,

into the shivering

of everything.

We learn to dance from trees. A woods

roaring in the wind

is enchanting. If you stand

among the bending columns

you will find it hard

to not sway,

to not

lift your arms

and splay your fingers

to the deep drum.

Dan Richman is a retired carpenter who still loves to make things out of wood and words.