As Much as

by Allan Peterson

I have taken my chair into the undergrowth.
I sit above the dog long gone.
Around me an oval unfolds, the arcs of my vision
like the simplified maps
of the Middle Ages relying on Scripture,
not on looking for detail,
a world in a circle with no moving parts.
But this is not simple.
It would take days of naming to begin
to announce my visitors,
seeing within seeing like Hooke or Leeuwenhoek .
Said this way with exuberance,
it may fail to resemble any place you know.
But that is the way of attention,
it brings more than expected. And so before me
is the hot and moist, the four
elements and then some, the azalea as the answer
to iodine while spider silks tell the wind
better than the nylon sock or brass chicken on a spit.
And what looked alive was alive, and alive
within alive, and alive within that.
As far as I know. As I can see.
As far back as I remember. As much as I can stand.