Sunday, June 3, 2018

Weekend Poem

Poem, #2

The first draft was about a resilient oak that stands its ground
Despite tornadoes and storms:
Though branches be whipped and shed their leaves
Though the trunk may sway and creak in the torrents of wind
The blossoms will bloom in May again…”
And anodyne drivel of that form.

But my interest in the tree and its leaves soon waned.
Who really gives a damn about them?
The tree can go straight to hell.
Let it get snapped in half by a good-hearted gale

I wanted to know what happens to the roots below.
What happens underground when the tree hollows out dead?
What happens when I plunge a spade into the ruined earth?
Does the blade strike gnarled hardness of desperate thirst?
Is the soil snarled with the sinews of foolish youthful forays,
Into an impassable latticed bulwark?
Or does the woody root soften as it decays?

Is there a sliver of space for another translucent root?
Those are the real questions;
All else is moot.
A tree is a thing that falls down and dies.
The cyclic bloomings are the bromides
We tell the frightened children at night.

A poem is not the tree with blossoms and leaves
Nor the broken thing that crashes to the forest floor.
But now is the time to let your own tree fall,
Let it crack where it once was strong.
A poem is the hidden treasure left over
Long after the roots dissolve into soil.
Stand ready with your shovel and rest, rest.
Wait, wait for the right moment;
And then dig, and then dig
And then yes and then yes


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