This Book in Your Hand

Do you see the tree –
now this book in
your hand? Can
you hear echoes of
its whispering through
the wind? Do you
know that it once
breathed out its
life as it inhaled
your death?

This book in your hand
is your relation.

Its pages are leaves for
the healing of the nations.
You can divine in its spine
trunk and branches and roots –
given for you, given for me.
It bears the ink it bleeds
nobly. This book
reminds us that
we do not read
without cost.

This book in your hand
is a living wood, and
it will not remain

6 thoughts on “This Book in Your Hand

  1. I love this one, on so many levels. One is the poetic tying together of word and sacrament. Another is the resurrection into Word and word. I heard once that someone hypothesized that human beings exist to serve trees, which this piece reminded me of as well, with its “inhaling death”. Thank you, Allen. And thanks to the woods that have become words.

    • agjorgenson says:

      Thanks much for your comments. I really like the idea that we exist to serve trees. Wouldn’t taking that to heart reframe our ethic in so many ways? I’ll sit on this for a bit. Thanks.

  2. shoreacres says:

    This poem is an eloquent argument for books as well as e-readers. Reading a book is a tactile experience in a way that reading words on a screen never can rival. Of course there is room for both, but to lose the sensation of reading, to reduce it to “only” words, is to lose something precious, severing one more of our ties to the natural world. I really enjoyed this one, Allen.

    • agjorgenson says:

      Thanks Linda, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Interestingly, I am about to go to El Salvador with my wife for a Habitat for Humanity build, and my youngest daughter offered us her e-reader, which I may well take. if so, I’ll have occasion to think about what an e-reader might offer. I, too, find the tactile piece of a book to be enriching, but really enjoy that you can take one e-reader rather than a bunch of books. We are only gone 10 days, so it is not such a big thing, But when you are gone for a long time, they can be a back saver!

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