i study leaves
to understand the humming of trees
the business of squirrels
in the highway of branches
a bird on the limb
in the fire of  fall

that in the swelling of buds
the expression of light
the flower and seed in the life
the breeze in the sail
and the shade

to hold to the soil with roots
to feel thru the earth
with hands
to there with the stand
and lean of the forest
to pulse with the fusion
of living the land

i study leaves to recognize air
to know what it means
to be breathing
to understand rain that
rolls from the lip
and falling the distance of lift
to the calling of earth

to be with the motion and whip
of a gale that pulls at an arm
and breaks at the heart
and lays to the rot of decay
a food that is kind
and the same

i study leaves
to memorize place
to know where i am
in this space
to remember in winter

H. Janzen

If you've any comments on this poem, H. Janzen would be pleased to hear from you.