Surrealistic Willow May 18, 2013Posted by Mark Folse in cryptic envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Willows are tricksters, roots exploring far beyond the canopy to play havoc with those who plant them unthinkingly in their monocultured and manicured lawn where no dandelion dare rear its head. You learn this later, after you have discovered the willow’s secret of invisibility as a child wandering the park with a cane pole and a bologna sandwich, the ability to vanish into the foliage out of the palpable but inaudible roar of summer’s furnace. Wait patiently for the fish who do not understand that the willow’s power of invisibility stops at the waterline. If the fish run slow, lay back on your split-root seat and watch the younger children who do not yet understand the willow’s power running in the stickery grass, observe the mysteries of couples wandering slowly, hand-in-hand in search of their own inconspicuous spots, the turtles camouflaged on their logs. Every good grouping of oleanders has its secret, dirt-flooded center and every child in the neighborhood knows these spots to spend languid afternoons in intermittent conversation or mischief. These are no match for the deep-canopied willow when afternoon’s hot breath rustles the leaves with a sound like cooling rain and you can sit, inconspicuously shaded, counting the toadstools and wondering if the little people your grandparents spoke of were not so much magic as wise, knowing where to hide when chatty women or rattling wagons passed on the road. Pick up a twig and whittle it clean, carve thoughtless patterns into the wood to pass the afternoon and then plant it in the earth, a mystic hobo sign for the crafty passerby.