Tree-beard Lichen: Usnea

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Subtle amphibians live on these red cedars
in a frog-soft marriage of fungi and algae,
inserting delicate web-tips into the deepest crevices
of their ancient hosts, and tempted up to rampart heights to overlook
eight-hundred years of soaring solitude.

Their vapour breaths dissolving air in water
make rain-coloured fronds of forest on forest,
the least of things arraying the arms of giants to touch
the farthest fingers of creation and patter silver streams of drops
uplifting rooted stands of acolytes below.

Do we blindly ripple out our ignorant destructions
and manage the massive thrusts into neat pieces,
relentless right angles of singular uniformity?
Do we stand apart in panting satisfaction
at our power to bring their green horizons low
and stare in doubtful wonder at the empty space of air?

© 2017 D. Floody

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David Floody is a Canadian, Young Adult novelist living and writing in Tofino, British Columbia on the far west coast of Vancouver Island, in breathtaking Clayoquot Sound. His Young Adult novel, THE COLOUR OF PRIDE, is set in 1968, a year after the David witnessed the fires of hatred consume Detroit in a five-day race riot. White fourteen-year-old ballplayer, Frank Phelan, defends and befriends Black teenaged ballplayer, Ellie Fitzgerald, from a brutal racist bully during a crucial game of the 1968 World Series. Frank suffers the worst beating of his life. But his baseball hero, Detroit Tigers player Al Kaline, comes to his and Ellie's rescue. The worst day of his life, becomes the best day of his life, and Kaline gives Frank his own baseball cap with the word "Pride" written on the bill, along with all the Tigers team signatures. David's latest Young Adult novel, INSECT YOUTH, is a coming-of-age sequel to The Colour of Pride, set two years later. Frank Phelan, now sixteen, discovers first love with the mysteriously beautiful Starr Summers. But when he and Starr aree exploring a deep railway, they have a violent encounter with his enemy, Dixie, and Frank is knocked unconscious. Frank later suspects Starr has been sexually assaulted when she becomes silent and withdrawn, but she will not talk about it. When the law fails him and Starr runs away. Frank is the only one who can deliver justice to the older punk. In that same valley, in the middle of a BB gun war, Frank puts his finger on the trigger of his powerful Perazzi pellet gun with its telescopic sight. Frank has Dixie's face in his crosshairs. If Frank pulls the trigger, he steps across a thousand lines and can never again step back. He whispers Starr's name. "In moment he fires, Frank sees himself reflected in the lens of Dixie's eye."

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