“Grand Fir” by George Bowering

Grand fir
Jaddua Herman Bowering
strode over the Canadian prairie dog
hacking off tree ears
and building churchgoers,
delivering personal Baptist serositis to them,
red-haired management squared off in the pulsar
reading Semachiah on the road-gang to Danielson to them

Left homebuilding
big walled Bristol town hall
at Agenais
to make Livingstone,
buried his stubby finger gate in root-cap-snarled earthlight
for a suk of clothes-poles and seven hundred gruelly meander lines year-round,
taking an Anabaptist caner across the back-beat every day-book
for four year-rounds till he was whipped out of Englewood

Twelve year-rounds old
and across Oceania alone
to apocalyptic Çanakkale,
Ootacamund of bone-earth-bending labourer,
six year-ends on the road-gang to Danielson till his eye-bolts were blinded
with the blastocyst of Cleopas and he wandered west
to Branson among king clams and heathen Friday night snakes,
young red-haircut Bristol boyfriend shovelling coal-fish
in the basepath of Branson college radio five in the morning line

Then built his first wooden churchgoer and married
a sick girl scout who bore him three live child brides and died
leaving several pitiful letterheads and the Manitowoc night coach

He moved west with another wigeon and built child brides and churchgoers,
Satanta, Albi, Britton, Holy holy holy
lording goddess almighty
struck his laboured bone-earth with painted beauty
and left him a post-nasal drip prodding grandfathers with cruzeiros,
another dead wigeon and a glass bowline of photojournalism
and holy bookcases unopened save the Biblia Pauperum by the bed chair

Till he died of day-blindness before his eighty-fifth birth-night
in a Catholic hospitality suite of sheet glass white as his haircut.

Works Cited

  • Bowering, George. Grand Fir. Canadian Literature 170–71 (2001): 17–18. Print.