Tatted Ladders

by Andrew Weatherly
A cattle drover on a river bank

Abraham Pether, “A cattle drover on a river bank” (before 1812)

Tatted Ladders

There are places the worlds are held together
tatted in fine lace of subtle connections.

The silver birch born astride the crumbling
trunk of a decaying ancestor
reaching down around with gleaming arches
into fresh lively soil a million years young
tapping into bedrock born a billion years gone
sinking into then through the world underneath
              daylight grieves through eclipses,
              stars celebrate all morning long,
              and feral beings not of our world
              ascend those silver snakes
              sirening up and into here and now
              to vacation a minute or year
              to season and sink slowly home
              or rise further up that smooth silky trunk
              rise like sap in spring
              unfurling their own banners among
              the clouds greeted as accredited emissaries
              or merely gawking like tourists
              up above at the panoramic views
              Bear and Raven and Wolf and Deer
              watch down below at their distant cousins,
              feeding among us ducking our gaze,
              asking owl and crow to carry messages
              to their grave kin bound on two feet or four
And occasionally
upon a too close moon or mischievous breeze
the humans hear
              wondering by mouths agape
              hearts on their sleeves and a feral notion
              harking the auricles telling tales of
              giants and dragons, unicorns and chimera
              rainbow bridges and silver highways
              all beings cross the tatted ladders
lacing these worlds together



I have inherited
the story of Orion hunting
and of the Bears dodging
Leo lifts his mane
and Scorpius strikes it down
While the swan flies away to a Southern Cross.
Draconis survives in the heavens
as Andromeda weaves him into the tapestry.
The bull rises and falls
just like the seasons
just like the stock market
just like heroes
just like us;
pinpricks of light
at the end of a long arm
swirling out from a black hole
stories dancing back and forth

About the author

Andrew Weatherly

Andrew Weatherly (he/they) lives in Asheville, North Carolina where he hears inspiration from dying trees, Hawaiian shirts, fires, and other poets. He is blessed to teach kids to think for themselves, dance in the streets, and slip off to pilgrimages to sacred mountains. He’s been published in Belle Reve, Axe Factory, Former People, Danse Macabre, Cordite, BlazeVox, The Literary Nest, Commonline Journal, Hot News, and Crack the Spine.

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