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BOOKS & THE CULTURE Pitchfork The straight Ash handle graceful as a Viking ship. Tan and darkened by hand oil. Handled. Odin’s tree Ygdrasill, baseball bats and ancient Irish oars are Ash. Tree of sea power with that power that water holds. This morning Adrienne used this pitchfork to turn the compost. Sawdust not breaking down as fast as horse manure. A slower heat coming. 5 tines hardened in fire, forged, the tip of each shaped different. Hammered. The long handle precisely joined to the steel. As perfect as the motion made, the arc you define at 5 in the morning turning the compost. Things Come To This Sunflower, This Morning A Cicada. By now most of the Sunflowers have opened except for the group at the top of the garden I planted later. There is a time just after the Solstice in the heat when they open. I should name it. Things come to visit this Sunflower. At least twice as tall as I am. This Sunflower doesn’t open but grows taller & the flower from down here appears a new star at twilight. Things come to visit it now, this morning a Cicada, not a Cicada husk but a whole Cicada with wings clung near the top. When it was still there at noon I thought it dead but by nighttime it had flown away. Things come to visit it now. I should name it. Today 2 small raccoons came. I will see tonight what visits in the moonlight. Robert Trammell Robert Trammell is program director for WordSpace in Dallas, a fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, and winner of the DART \(Dallas Area Rapid Tran enamel wind panels to be installed at the Lover’s Lane Station. He has published poems and essays in over one hundred fifty publica tions and is author of twelve books, the latest being Pickups, Bugs, and Oram’s Orchard. These two poems are from a series about Texas summer and sunflowers. Trammell’s language tips its head quietly inside images, the same way a sunflower does in a world of changing sun. His observations are gracious and keen. Naomi Shihab Nye AUGUST 30, 1996 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23