I am the dead tree outside,
Still standing despite heavy winds.
The poet from the window piles on his conjectures;
I was supposed to fall six months ago.
Spiting this man, I stand more firm,
Even with decay all about’
This charge proves my obstinance,
That man of flesh knows not those of wood.
My leaveless branches are a sign of demise,
but the situation is also a boon;
My nakedness decreases surface area
So the wind cannot batter me as it does my live kin.
My bull’s head doesn’t make me invincible;
One day the man in the window will be there to hear my fall,
And he’ll think of George Berkeley,
Then continue on with his metaphors.
He predicts my death not as a poet,
but as pseudo-scientist,
I hope, at my demise,
He attends my copse as a poet
I am the young tree of all forests,
Dwarfed by the chorus of delicate wooden mammoths,
Hindered from growth by the expanse of their canopy,
Shaded by an uncaring Elder.
My siblings are a multitude,
And relentless, they grow upward.
Some have become behemoths themselves,
But most are like me.
These behemoth brethren befuddle me.
Their maturation secures status quo
By denying their siblings’ destiny
But I’m stuck under their canopy.
I can’t move,
Nor is there upward mobility,
That is, not without permission.
When the Earth shrugs the titans topple;
They are reckless in their demise,
Thunderous in their death,
Unless no one is around to hear them.
In the void left behind, I must fight my ilk;
Only one of us may receive Ra’s blessing,
The rest will remain dwarfed
Until the victor, once again, falls.
THus is our cycle of life and death,
unfurling our leaves early into spring to catch sun
Before we are descended into darkness by our elders;
When they fall, we can’t grow in concert.
So we must race one another.
I stand between two trees:
One live, on dead;
One verdant, one vivisected by wind and
Riddled with disease.
I want it to be a symbol of
Man’s struggle to live
While in a perpetual state of dying,
But this is a clumsy metaphor;
The live tree is dying too.
I feel the wind caress my skin;
It’s not the same wind
The one that comforted me
As a child.
But it does feel the same,
and so I am thankful,
Accepting the wind as an old friend,
Picking up where we left off
All those years ago…
I don’t even know the difference,
Between myself and my environment,
Between myself and this inexhaustible world;
Where are its borders?
Wielding the first human tool,
My perceptions, my sensuous nature,
The borders are clear;
Any representational artist can see this.
Murk infests the waters when we “look” beyond.
I see the lush grass,
The plush blanket of earth (though this is dwindling)
And I see it, too, within myself.
The percept becomes the perceiver,
Distinctions between nature and nurture evaporate;
For we are nurtured by nature,
And all without is within.