I Could Be Charlemagne

By on May 19, 2019 in Poetry

Trees blowing in wind

I could be Charlemagne.
If I examine the plat,
Lines and measures survey
So many feet from here to there,
Staked with orange, florescent paint,

My realm of house, yard, wood,
This soil, the worms, wasps, rabbits,
These wildflowers, my vassals,
Courting deferentially each summer,
These trees, all bow to me.

Absurd! Actually, the wind
Possess these boughs — the wind,
Pillaging the scene of the Pacific,
Conquering the Rockies and Sierras,
Marching cyclones across Nebraska.

During calm days of respite,
The wind away invading Appalachia,
I could be Charlemagne,
My reverie of sovereignty reigns,
Circumspection heedlessly fades.

Then, when the wind decrees
Again, he’s the benevolent lord
And tousles my head a little
As if I’m an inconsequential boy.
I doubt that I am Charlemagne.

Today, the wind rules all,
A raging tyrant bellowing edicts,
Scoffs at my illusory dominion,
Vanquishes nests and squirrel hollows,
Bends every limb, loosens joints,

Turns every leaf inside-out.
The wind is Charlemagne,
A great pair of omnipotent hands
Shakes me by the shoulders
Until I kneel or break.


David Sapp is a writer, artist and professor living along the southern shore of Lake Erie in North America. He is a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award grant recipient for poetry. His poems have appeared widely in a number of venues across the United States, in Canada and the United Kingdom. His publications also include articles in the Journal of Creative Behavior; chapbooks Close to Home and Two Buddha; and his novel, Flying Over Erie.