All the warnings by Claudia Coutu Radmore

one day a spreading oak
                             tried hard to get my attention
seducing with the pseudo calm
                             of its low wide branches
it was as if it had lungs
           and wanted to beam up my molecules
.                                           in its breathy intake
                                         to tell me something
.                                           I drew the tree in charcoal

another time on a certain university campus
           under thunderous clouds
a storm of crab    apple                   blossoms
smacked me
                             in the face
as if to wake me up;                        I gathered
           a wet bouquet of its gorgeousness
                                      missed the message

and felt a kick in the gut when the crabs were cut down
          brick and pavement laid in their place

come on, since Lucretius we’ve known
          we are one with the trees

but we don’t listen, do we ―
.            no one listens to family ―

and the trees keep doing their part
.            uneasy about a future
where there are only ghost trees
.                                         left in museums
where the pines will be
.            artificially noble

and the aspens
         made to tremble


Copyright © Claudia Coutu Radmore. Originally published in Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees (League of Canadian Poets, 2018).


Claudia Coutu Radmore’s collections a moment or two/ without remembering and Your Hands Discover Me/ Tes mains me découvrent, were followed by Accidentals, which won Canada’s bpNichol Chapbook Award in 2011. fish spine picked clean, a tanka collection, was published by Éditions des petits nuages in March, 2018. She manages catkin press which publishes lryic and Japanese-form poetry.

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