Quilting with cottonwords

I’ve added this photograph of towering 50 foot tall black cottonwoods I took last year at a 10 year old riparian restoration site….it literally has its thumb on the pulse of this crafty poem…

The ancient eavesdropper


Black cottonwood
Populus trichocarpa
deciduous species with broad
wavy, waxy leaves weaving
a glossy green canopy quilt through
dendritic stitches of shading cellulose.
Puffy white fibers pop and float
in clumps of stuffing shipped
by way of the wind and sun post.
Numerous grey needlepoint lenticels
focus gas exchange across
skyrocketing cambium cells,
compressed under bark whose
fissures thicken as rings
toll growth in fourscore spells.
Highly hormonal roots sprout
readily when wet, regenerating even
abscised shoots after busy beaver teeth
whittle its flesh.
Wind wafts the sweet smell of
its photosynthetic success near
stream-side riparian, refreshing your breath.
This is the pinnacle of poplars, a short-lived
model organism whose full genome
the first tree sequenced seven years ago.
Its organic aesthetics practically and medicinally
employed by Northwestern Native American tribes
to craft canoes, fish traps, baskets, abodes,
glue boo-boos, waterproof buckskin and ingested raw as nature’s patented aspirin, downsizing swells and…

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About tyler4turtles

I am an avid photographer, poet, ecologist, bookworm, blogger, art enthusiast and runner who calls Montana home but lives in Oregon.
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