Guest Post: “On Stand of Trees,” by Tyler Chadwick

Stand of Trees (by J. Kirk Richards)

I’ve been neglecting what it takes
to piece together dawn from old
snapshots and reminiscence faded
as the blush from Adam’s skin

when God’s question stunned
the garden and he slipped with Eve into
the shadow of God’s voice, their shame
a stand of trees backlit by cherubim

come hounds a-bay to flush them into
death, sin, recognition, solitude,
a blood-drunk field mantle deep with sweat
and sorrow, soil thick with the afterbirth

of myth and tectonic histories, pieces
of a puzzle that shift in bed as I
try to number them one, two, three,
no, one, two… one

edges ragged as the blanket Cain has
carried since Eve weaned him from the teat
and he found his thumb to replace it,
but not enough to fill his hunger, not

enough to keep serpents from burrowing
into his need, from shedding that rag
like yesterday’s skin, from slipping him
the switchblade he used to quarter the fruit

he knew had ripened in Mother’s womb,
the harvest he’ll never find as he works
his spittle and excrement field into bodies
with his hands red as stygian clay.


Tyler Chadwick lives in Idaho with his wife, their three daughters, and their Miniature Schnauzer. His poetry has appeared in Metaphor, Dialogue, Irreantum, Salome Magazine, Black Rock & Sage, and on WIZ (here and here) and AMV (here and here) and many of his poems and his Mormon Poetry Project can be found on his personal blog.  

Be sure to click into the link at the head of the post to see the inspiration for Tyler’s poem, J. Kirk Richards’ painting, “Stand of Trees.”