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Bonsai I

by Bern Mulvey

In the deadwood style, extensive areas of the plant's trunk and branches are artificially weathered to look like bleached driftwood.
                                                              —Susan Lang, Bonsai

Each part in its fitting unlocks. Roots trained
over black rock, trunk fold a sharp C
sand-coarsed and skinless, extending boughs
teased parallel to the earth. Form wind-bowed
yet there, at the slender tips, a green
reaching, above into the late rain
an offering of leaves, bouquet, psalm
of praise; the storm, the gathering I am.


Bern Mulvey has written numerous articles, essays, poems, and reviews in both English and Japanese, with work in Poetry, Nimrod, Fine Madness, The Missouri Review, Poetry East, River City, The London Times, American Language Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, The Window Tribe, won the 2004 White Eagle Coffee Store Chapbook Prize. Currently, he is assistant professor of English at Idaho State University, where he edits the literary journal Black Rock & Sage.

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