Arboretum [YouTube demo]

by Stephan Nance



This audio has been plucked from its YouTube video for your listening convenience and enjoyment!


Toeing a trench
In the mulch between
Your patch and mine
I stubbed myself on a treacherous thistle
And cried out
If it were merely
A matter of a stray thorny bristle
A barrier screen could be laid
And I wouldn't miss you

We could go the distance
Were there more disease resistance
On your part
Nothing lasts forever
When you never
Let it start

Every day I pass this way
I expect to find you
Waiting for me
Beneath the branches
Of the buckeye tree
Waving a palmetto frond
Siphoning orange juice
With a barber pole-ish wand...

Red horsechestnut?
Clever disguise.
I, of course, guessed, but
Said you'd never naturalize.

Species zag as seasons zig
Tough to keep plants in one place
Any chance they get, they diaspore
Or else transmutate
Traipsing looping garden paths
Chasing floodplain Tupelo
Tracing roots to Ponderosa
Tangling with a Strangler fig

Now in an old growth Bald-cypress stand
Knees locked in the strand swamp
Black- and yellow-crowned Night Herons
Abound in colonies
Conferring on me collective memory
My eyelids flutter
Orbits fill with water
In my hammock
Limbs thrash, spit and sputter
Alligator drags me under
Into the solution hole

To protect me from elements of fantasy
That thrive in shady reality
To offer respite from
The demands of gardening
To show me trees
Are just the fruit of an even bigger tree.


released June 13, 2016
Music & lyrics by Stephan Nance




Stephan Nance Eugene, Oregon

I'm Stephan Nance. I'm a singer-songwriter based in Eugene, Oregon. You can call my music poetic piano rock.

contact / help

Contact Stephan Nance

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code