All entries for January 2005

January 18, 2005

The Oak, and Sick Oak

The Oak

The first oak that I ever knew
And the first tree I ever climbed
Was strong yet kind, was knarled yet soft,
Chanting with me perched on his knee.

"Howdy-do-di-do-di-do-di
Howdy-do-di-do-today?"

Comforting prayer, 'fore God was found,
I knew a sturdy tree was he,
Roots reaching deep in family,
Boughs sheltering, sturdying round.

"Are you living where you're living now?
Or have you moved away?"

Roots spread, seeds grew, as I did too,
Around him forests were sprouting,
Families held beneath his leaves,
Though maybe we held him.

"Don't you look so disagreeable
I've only come to say:"

He lifted us to other trees,
Pushed on and up into branches,
And from the leaves we chucked apples;
His labours finally bore fruit.

"Howdy-do-di-do-di-do-di
Howdy-do-di-do-today?"

Sick Oak

No matter how stubborn,
Or strong, maybe lucky,
No matter how much you will it to be,
No oak can live forever.
And if Nature thinks you might try
She'll trim your sickly tree.

A gardener will come unbidden
With shears who's shadows show scythes
You'll see the shadows, not the shearer,
You'll see Him slowly pruned.
Reason, knowledge, even rhyme is cut away, until
Oak can't remember he was your tree.

Even my tree was cut down,
Under a roof, not leaves, does he rest now,
The apples I chuck down (can't bear to come close)
He must stoop to collect,
And I hear his back crack.
No rest for us, we see him cry, not want to leave,
Among the lost sick trees he's at home, he's lost
Sleep, appetite, about 5 stone, and to us.
In dirty sheets, dingy beds, on shitten floors,
A sick tree, my ever-oak, fails to sleep.

"Are you living where you're living now
Or have you moved away?


January 15, 2005

Blessing – A war poem

Blessing. Something precious, given not earned.
Life. Something precious, given not earned.
Theft. Something stolen, you had no right to take.
Death. Something stolen, I had no right to take.

Death. A field run red in a far-away land,
Our blood mixed with foreign blood
In the foreign dirt of that foreign battle,
In a foreign place, we had no right to be.

Life. Poppies growing in that far away field,
Which once was red, is red again,
And the ghoulish roots, that feed on the fallen,
Give strength to blooms, which was given, not earned.

Theft. Spectres howling in my far-away mind,
Where they twist and turn, wail and writhe,
Stopping me sleeping, in my soft and safe bed,
In my tainted soul, they have permission to be.

Blessing, a blade that misses the all too close flesh,
Tearing through sinew and bone and my soul,
And Devils never twist their knives in my heart,
And I have peace in oblivion that I never could earn.


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