Manzanita

by Gary Snyder


Original Language English

Before dawn the coyotes
     weave medicine songs
     dream nets -- spirit baskets --
     milky way music
          they cook young girls with
          to be woman;
     or the whirling dance of
     striped boys --

At moon-set the pines are gold-purple
Just before sunrise.

The dog hastens into the undergrowth
Comes back panting
Huge, on the small dry flowers.

A woodpecker
Drums and echoes
Across the still meadow

One man draws, and releases an arrow
Humming, flat,
Misses a gray stump, and splitting
A smooth red twisty manzanita bough.

Manzanita the tips in fruit,
Clusters of hard green berries
The longer you look
The bigger they seem,

     `little apples'

-- from Turtle Island, by Gary Snyder

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Manzanita