Evergreen Cloud Forest · San Cristóobal

Volcanic peak & vague boulders heave free from the tangle
green tangle clings to the rock
archaic water
drizzles from cloud to big leaf
leaf to underfoot mud
How many billions of years
    cool rain on the planet
this improbable cinder
steaming & whirling on galaxy's arm?
Nameless mosses sweep down from branches in sheafs
mist and cloud
    twist in emerald evergreen crowns
Pale yellow orchids hidden by vines
Could be the elfin woodland
Beard first wrote up (1944)
    buttressed trees
    broad leathery evergreen leaves
the air almost too
green to draw breath


This heart goes
      imagine keeping
counsel with clouds
windswept peaks and high ridges
      Sierra Madre
oh jagged Mother

tangled underfoot offspring
so dense
you need a machete to walk
We gaze down into treetops

A woodcutter machete clacks in the forest
smoke lifts
they're clearing for coffee
clearing for cattle
Orange flames spit from the underbrush
    blue haze hangs in ravines

a bit of white lichen a few tough mosses

after 10,000 years the forests to vanish
earth a bare cinder again

What do we call it?

      cloud evergreen scrub

Andrew Schelling | Palenque
Contents | Mudlark No. 9