“The Hot Gates”, I called them.

Two trees standing tall on my route.

One a broken, twisted spire, diseased and doomed.

The other, a belfry of greenery.

These specimens were Douglas Firs,

adjacent to the road I traveled. And almost every morning, I’d be caught behind a traffic light

Left to consider their juxtaposition.

Somewhere under the pavement, I knew they shared resources.

Their roots tangled in competition.

I’d drive through them

Readying myself for whatever may come.

Some days, I’d pass without a care

And others, with pride: only a man on a mountaintop can consider this drama, passing with skepticism and pareidolia.

But other days, I passed with a sense of dread.

What were they revealing today?

 We are mortals

Time is passing us by.

Our fate a bramble of prearrangement and luck

Our roots snarled intrinsically: wishes and wants

Love and hate, fear and misery.

And with these instruments, we are judged.

All of these poems and more can be found HERE in the anthology “A Cartographer”.