The New Pastoral

  1. Has fewer trees
  2.              along the streets. Today,
  3. the hill stands in
  4. for the horizon, quaker
  5.              parakeets bungle the power
  6. lines. This is the lie
  7. of the land. Jack screw
  8.              in the knot of a two-hundred
  9. year-old yew holds
  10. what weight it can. Urban
  11.              jungle, rural city, there
  12. is ever more room
  13. in this similar
  14.              middle. The desert-lean
  15. animal has left the pack,
  16. the salt carries farther
  17.              than the flats. Praise our
  18. efforts at adaptation.
  19. We follow, best we can,
  20.              the fenced-in river bends;
  21. note the panic-green
  22. of each new chute
  23.              and leaf. Each apprentice
  24. to the altar, we raise
  25. the cup, as the furred
  26.              branch and bud keep
  27. light from hitting the limb
  28. directly. Intermediaries,
  29.              mock-collared in the orange
  30. grove. The city is built
  31. from up. Look
  32.              at the men, lowering
  33. buckets and nets
  34. from the roof. They’ve been
  35.              at the pulleys all day,
  36. loading sundry
  37. supplies from the back
  38.              of a truck and dragging
  39. them nearer the sky.