Thought-farmer keeps many aquaculture tanks,
by Denis Mair
Draws water from his own well to fill them,
He pours in his tinctures and starters
Ladles liquids to keep the level constant.
In one tank grows a patient corner piece
In another a window frame opens its eye,
One has shingles willing to overlap against weather,
In one are hinges that only love to swing.
Rows of tanks hold pieces he will fit together
To build a house just as alive as he is.
The final tank stirs with salamander hiss,
He nourishes it with rarest essences
Hoping it will transform to an image cut in wood
Forever changing shape above the fireplace.
Thought-farmer barters all his riches for a special seed,
Preparing a garden plot consumes him for a season.
He lays himself bare, stripped of all wishes
Except to call forth that powerful sprout.
From green ferment and kisses of sunlight
Fibers twist together and grow to one purpose,
The knotted vine grows from the ground with one force,
Climbs up poles that spare it a struggle with gravity,
It branches out and pours sap into a hundred fruits
Which are directly offered up to the sky.
Thought-farmer has a head bushy with growing tips,
He sends runners radiating in all directions,
Thought-farmer disappears into the landscape
Don't look for him except in his projects.
His mind is servant to the edifice
But this edifice is temple to the mind,
Everywhere is filled with incense of offering.
He digs in the landscape alive with his life
Shot through with roots that carry news,
In layered growth of forest he gathers a special fern
That crystallizes stories of fallen kingdoms
And lingering cries of children.
He flocks with winged carriers to trade his gleanings
And with them enters into a twirling dance,
Silence solemnizes the twitterings of his days.
He frames words with silence, coaxing new kinds of plants to grow,
But people cannot crop the lacy growths right from his head,
So he goes to a magic pond and kneels down by the water.
He trails his branches there, knowing it opens out onto
A new landscape, where other beings can read them.