Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Greening of Great Hollow Swamp


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY

This sun-cooked stew is first to green
and teem.
Fortunate road, a causeway really,
across Great Hollow Swamp
that lets me invade these otherwise remote nurseries.

The dark eye of a black grackle
meets mine,
Before the brake is even set.
Will he sit along the branch and watch
After I've opened the door and unpacked my camera?

Along the power line swallows,
posted sentries,
silently watch to the culvert.
There, wheeling overhead,
the swallow squadrons buzz me - champions to chicks unhatched.

Across the road where the culvert spills,
another pool,
"b'deee-b'deee."
to my ear, a friendly greeting.
I wish I knew the names of all who live here.

Behind him a long channel
ripples - deep
through skeletal thicket of ash-colored maple.
Floating low above the emerald carpet,
another heron glides to a more private bog.

At midday the redwings watch and cluck
my passing.
But now at sunset from every dry branch,
atop every rotted stump
They arch their awful warpaint and trumpet to the glory of the setting sun.