Poem: “Henry’s Orchard”, by Claude Barbre

HENRY'S ORCHARD
Orion tracks the lion stars
Above a field of scrub and stone.
One side of mountain is the face
His hunter's killing calm reflects
Into a single eye of pond.
The other side is middle night
And cold dispersions of a dew
An early frost will constellate,
And by such alchemy construe
The earth's elusive transience 
That nature shapes. We climb the hill
Beyond the bracken wood that bounds
The heavy yields of harvest boughs,
And drink a sky of apple air
With eyes and breath and heart until
Our bodies seem to grow to ground
And mean to stay. But night has old
Designs to play: here are the proud
About to fall in patterns drawn
Across the spider's universe;
Here are the russets aged to rust
Whose cloyed and bitter sweetness drove
The heavy-laden bees to dance
Their divinations branch by branch:
So prospers our diminishment.
And as the brailles of dust ascribe
The season's final chronicles,
We trace the points of dying stars
Dissolving down an early east
As though configured in their fall
A neighbor dressed in overalls
Is turning from a ladder perch
To wave us from the road and talk--
Yet go our way, the taste for more,
A sweeter wind between the teeth,
And take our days as portion lots
With bright pretentions of a past
Set high as fixed mythologies.

Claude Barbre, Ph.D., L.P., is Distinguished Full Professor, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He is the Course-Lead Coordinator of the Psychodynamics Orientation, and lead faculty in the Child and Adolescent Studies. Dr. Barbre served for 12 years as Executive Director of The Harlem Family Institute, a New York City school-based, psychoanalytic training program. Author of prize-winning articles, books, and poetry, Dr. Barbre is a five-time recipient of the International Gradiva Award for “outstanding contributions to psychoanalysis and the arts.” He is currently a Board Member and Training Supervisor at The Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis (CCP), and in private practice in Chicago.

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