Painting a Canvas

Surreptitiously, mysteriously, I weave,
instinct or blind luck
I move, the caterpillar is me,
constantly changing and evolving.

Wait a budless tree, it's me,
intensely cold, withdrawn inside.
All life has slept, only to surprise.
Your eyes in full bloom of the spring.

Did you hear the sap from the trunk?
Did you see the tree cough its oxygen?
The stomata, like quartz in a desert on a tree.

Endless opening and closing,
respiration, transformation, metamorphosis...
It's alive, it's growing,
behold a green bud shoots out in the sun
alive and vigorously breathing for us.

Steve Smock considered himself an original blue-collar, common working-class writer/poet and was unemployed and living in a shelter run by the Community for Creative Nonviolence in Washington, D.C., when this poem appeared.

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Sojourners Magazine May 1992
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