Arboreal Lessons

Our tree is not ours, but it
allows us to imagine it
so. It has much to
teach us, each
fall shedding
its skin,

leaving a leaf on step,

which when wet plays

the mirror and so

allows me to see my eyes

on its veins. It minds me.

This tree, with its leaf, speaks to me of creation and its end.

It knows intimately
the wager of letting
go: falling from
branch’s security.

It knows of farewells
and weeping
and the beauty of
ochred red against verdant grace.

It knows that this blue
globe we call home is
ocular: God’s seeing us.

Stars tell tales

Friends, I am back now from a vacation inspired hiatus from this little blog. I am looking forward to catching up on what you have written and another year of writing!

Allen

Stars tell tales, but
few have ears to hear
such light, to see
such songs aside from
mystics and children and the odd poet,
too, who can turn light to sound and
sound to light to delight us
plebeians. These draw us
out and speak in us
the spark that
begins the burn.

Embers echo stars.
They twinkle sagas of
births and deaths;
of dragons and elves.

The chronicles of trees and my kind, too,
are not so very different:
tears, sap
sap, blood
blood, leaf
leaf, skin
skin, bark
bark, voice
voice, root
root, foot
foot and trunk both
drunk in the Mystery.

Stars tell tales

Stars tell tales, but
few have ears to hear
such light, to see
such songs yet
mystics and children and the odd poet,
too, can turn light to sound and
sound to light to delight us
plebeians.  These might
draw us  out and so
speak in us the spark
that begins
the burn.

 

Embers echo stars.
They twinkle sagas of
births and deaths;
of dragons and elves.

 

The chronicles of trees and my kind, too,
are not so very different:
tears, sap
sap, blood
blood, leaf
leaf, skin
skin, bark
bark, voice
voice, root
root, foot
foot and trunk both
drunk in the Mystery.

Of Forests and Trees

The photo below chronicles an event of some significance on my neighbour’s lawn. This last spring he took out a very old, and weary maple tree from his front yard. It had reached the end of its days and was no longer much more than a tall stump with a few way-laid branches. We all were beginning to worry about its coming down at an inopportune time on a unfortunate car, or even person.

In early spring, an arborist took down the tree, ground out the stump, and planted some grass on the re-soiled spot. Alas, the effort seemed to be in vain, and so a few weeks ago my neighbour re-seeded the area. He has been hard at work trying to coax the grass to rise: alternately watering and watching with care. In the interim, a huge – and very healthy – maple in my front yard has been in the business of blanketing the neighbourhood with maple keys, those glorious little helicopter like things that float down. My tree is “sowing its wild oats” – yet cyclically. Every seven years or so the tree is a bit more libidinous than normal. This was one of those years. Our front lawn and driveway has been blanketed in keys in a manner akin to the fall flurry of leaves. Indeed, it is not only our lawn that has been so very blessed, but our neighbour’s as well. The other day he was laughing at the fact that even though he is rid of his maple, he still has maple work to do. I grinned awkwardly.

Just this last week, however, I grinned gratefully as, getting out of my car, I glanced out and looked upon my neighbour’s yard: what once was a bit of lawn with tenacious grass had become even thicker in green. But upon closer inspection, I realized that the lawn had, in part, become a forest of miniature maples. The picture below does not quite do it justice, that bit of the lawn is really vibrating with energy!

I’m not sure if our neighbour will choose to let one of these babies grow; if I were him, I would be sorely tempted. He certainly has many to choose from and the price is right. But he may have other plans for his yard, and the lawn mower may well spell the end of this canopy in miniature. In either event, I have been once again gob smacked by the ways in which earth’s fecundity sometimes appears formidable.

The green is rich in our yards these days, and colour is bursting forth in unexpected places bringing unrivalled pleasure. It is a beautiful world for those with occasion and willingness to engage it. Yet June is also a busy time for many, including me. Thankfully, this curio-canopy reminds me of the need to wrench myself away from the so many “important” tasks that rob me of both forests and trees. Jesus once told us to “consider the lilies of the field,” and may very well still be inviting us, too, to feel the trees between our toes.

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“The Reign of God is like this: it is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and sleep and rise night and day, and the seed sprout and grow even while the person knows not how it happens.” Jesus