Lines Written Under The Shade Of The Lawrence Tree

While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
–William Wordsworth

High above Taos in the Sangre de Cristos

I lie on a bench at the ranch,

Gazing up through the pine’s branches

As the noon sun splatters on

The ground and bounces off the bark, scored

By wind and age. The light, a halo’d gold-

Dust, swirls through the twirling limbs.

The breeze, a thousand sighs, in the seam

Of light and shade, breathes through

As I breathe—like the tree I carry inside

Me, the same growth and all

That disintegration.  I have fallen into

A day-dream-scar left by a frond or some

Leaf of a poem. The lines will live on

As a different union of words

Long after I have gone. This ponderosa

Will tower as it towered a century before

Her painting. O’Keeffe lay on this bench

Under this pine that she claimed as her own

All those nights contemplating how

The top of the tree reached up

To brush the stars—the pine itself

Seemed to proclaim I am your god.

I lie here dappled in the sunlight

Waiting for a sign of my own, watch

A grackle alight on a branch above me

And hear it call out her name.

-Chell Nevarro 


Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Savage Torpor Poetry, I hold an MFA in Poetry from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, live in Kansas City but consider Arroyo Seco, NM my spiritual home. My publications include Bear Review, Sprung Formal, Lily Poetry Review, and Typishly among others and have written and published two chapbooks “Don’t Shoot the Augury” and “The Fetish of Maude Tatum.”