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A Poem – The Marginalian

The Life of Trees: A Poem

We see ourselves in them. We lean on them for classes on the way to be extra human and what resilience means. They are our timekeepers, our religious guides, our kin.

I spend a substantial amount of time in an old-growth forest awned by timber older than me by centuries. Trees beneath which 1000’s of different people have walked on toes which are no extra, carrying their sorrows and their goals in hearts that are actually soil. Trees which have witnessed world wars and weddings, which were rising since earlier than we constructed the bomb and decoded the human genome, earlier than Einstein dreamt up relativity and Nina Simone dreamt up “Mississippi Goddam,” a few of them alive when Bach was alive.

I typically surprise what they might say if they may converse. But maybe they might say nothing in any respect — maybe they might converse a fact past phrases.

That is what poet Dorianne Laux intimates in her pretty poem “The Life of Trees,” present in her assortment Only As the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems (public library) and browse right here to the sound of cellist and composer Zoë Keating’s piece “Optimist” from her transcendent report Into the Trees.

by Dorianne Laux

The pines rub their nice noise
into the spangled darkish, scratch
their itchy boughs towards the home,
and the moan’s thriller interprets roughly
into drudgery of possession: time
to pull the ladder from the shed,
climb onto the roof with a noticed
between my tooth, minimize
these suckers down. What’s actuality
if not a protracted exhaustive cringe
from the blade, the tooth? I need to sleep
and dream the lifetime of timber, beings
from the muted world who care
nothing for Money, Politics, Power,
Will or Right, who need little from the night time
however just a few useless stars going dim, a white owl
lifting from their limbs, who need solely
to sink their roots into the moist floor
and terrify the worms or shake
their bleary heads like trend fashions
or outdated hippies. If timber might converse
they wouldn’t, solely hum some low
inexperienced be aware, roll their pinecones
down the empty streets and blame it,
with a shrug, on the chilly wind.
During the day they sleep inside
their furry bark, clouds shredding
like historical lace above their crowns.
Sun. Rain. Snow. Wind. They concern
nothing however the Hurricane, and Fire,
that whipped bully who rises up
and turns into his personal useless father.
In the storms the younger ones
bend and bend and the outdated know
they could not make it, go down
with the ability strains sparking,
damaged on the trunk. They fling
their branches, forked sacrifice
to the overwhelmed earth. They don’t pray.
If they make a sound it’s eaten
by the wind. And although the celebrities
return they don’t supply thanks, solely
ooze a sticky sap from their roundish
concentric wounds, straighten their spines
and breathe, and breathe once more.

Complement with Mary Oliver’s poem “When I Am Among the Trees” and Helene Johnson’s “Trees at Night,” then revisit Hermann Hesse’s poetic century-old love letter to timber.


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