Do You Know About the Raintree?
Do you know about the world’s broad belt?
They say that in Brazil at the equator
birdsong fills the heart of the Catrimani
River. Its bed, teeming with diamonds
and gold, grows fat with this riot of light.
Do you know about the beehive tombs in Greece?
Lower yourself by rope into the dark secret.
If the rope breaks, let your eyes adjust
to blindness. They say there is a sun
behind your lids. Climb its ascending
rays back to the earth’s roar.
Do you know about the rainbow fish?
Solid black, they ruled the waters
before earthquakes opened their coffers,
turquoise, topaz, amethyst, jade
plummeting into the rivers where
the eyes of the dark fish shimmered
as they fed on the earth’s rainbow.
Do you know about the hidden mountains?
They say that in Tanzania and Kenya
the mountains warred. Kilimanjaro
and Mt. Kenya pushed their broad
shoulders too high into sky.
Now, whenever they nudge God’s throne,
his angry breath shrouds their peaks.
Do you know about waters of the Grotto?
You will find the pool off the coast
of Italy on Capri. Lie down
in the boat’s bottom to enter
the cave’s mouth, then feast on
a blue mirror that butterflies
carry here on their wings: pieces
of sky they gather learning to fly.
Do you know about the raintree?
There’s a tree, invisible, with a broad
canopy in the sky. The earth sings to it
whenever it’s thirsty. They say
if the song’s loud enough to rise,
the ripest blooms will break off
their branches and rinse earth’s
green cathedral in firstlight and last.
Originally appeared in Antietam Review and reprinted in the author's book, Gathering Light.
Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, Virginia's current poet laureate, has published widely throughout the country and abroad in such publications as Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, Passages North, and Antioch Review. She has published four poetry books and two anthologies. Her book, River Country, is forthcoming from San Francisco Bay Press. Catch up with her at www.CarolynForonda.com.