Friday, April 22, 2016

World Tree



author’s note:

In observance of Earth Day, April 22...

...and let us not forget National Arbor Day, April 29.


WORLD TREE

I am told
we may not
have enough
resources
and my own experience
seems to give this idea
credence
because
   often, I can’t remove
   the big block
   in my thoughts
   and so often
   I can not find
   enough room
   in my heart
   and too often
   I can't quite
   locate my feet.

So in search of an answer
I spoke to a tall tree today--
a solid but free, bold sashaying tree
of green-gold candle flames:

I wanted to know how
it rose so strong, so sure
on such sparse water
in bleached rocky soil
amid dismal sunlight.

It replied:
I draw from a primeval lineage.
It replied:
I draw from an eternal sky

so all through the choking dust
of dry Summer
and all through the numbing sleet
of dead Winter
my roots, my trunk maintain
enough vertical spirit
for me to be
what's required
of a world tree.


Now, having seen
the truth of the tree
I say:

if we're of the same Earth spirit
yet can't find enough resources
then we have failed as a species
and will perish or else
revert to a cave life.

But whether we stay or go
the tree will continue to flower.
The tree will not
look back on us in pity
the tree will look forward,
arms open to the next arrival.

The tree is not heartless,
nonetheless...

it won't exaggerate our importance.



© 2016, Michael R. Patton
survival: the book

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