California Live Oak

Quercus agrifolia

NATHAN HUFF

"Phantom Limbs"

96 inches x 164 inches

Gouache on paper, 2020

PAUL WILLIS

A Likeness

(Quercus agrifolia)

 

Live oaks and elephants, the gray

curled skin, hard-shifting shanks

and knees.  These trees

 

never forget what they take

from earth, what they give back.

Birds land on their heads all day

 

and bask in sky till fog

rolls in.  Then thick feet lumber

and stand while darkness falls,

 

trunks lifted up to the moon.

 

—from Say This Prayer into the Past (Cascade Books, 2013)