A tree (this is good till yellow)

(NOTE TO READER: In the original manuscript, the last two verses are highlighted in yellow.)

Is a tree is a tree is a tree
what you thought it would be?

Or did you encounter it
Tall and looming above you?
dark, solid, unmoving, yet taking its place
territory undisputed
bark encrusted and
greeting you, touching you?

Are you fearful?
Does it speak to you?
What does it say?
I am your God?
your Father? your Hero?
Do you feel it notice you?
hear you, feel you as you think?
know you? And what do you say in return?

Or are you awestruck, no words, no way to
make it yours, catch it in your pocket
to play with later?
Can you walk away with it?
No, this one – what is it?
makes you stand there in its presence
will not let you go
has entered you and will follow ‘til you stop denying

…Then what happens?
Do you feel love? The softness of surrender?
The wisdom of relationship?
Did you think you were alone?

How does it stand so tall?
What magic is this? What strength unmet
causing us to tremble?
How does it keep itself so still? So immense
and unwilling to posture and contrive.

…And high, look up!
What is that? where the light reaches you?
Not just the vast blue heaven, but earthbound branches
the mingling of the two
a language we later will call Nature

What power is this that speaks
so sure-footedly with the stars?
its translucent canopy lifts to shake itself clean
and the breeze makes you shiver …feel
the vastness of where it comes from
This towering presence knows and
greets the breeze as an equal
is not afraid as we are, affirms the vastness
as it reaches to the heavens
It is firm. It is comforting, stronger than you
includes you, pulses through your veins
realizing its presence in your world. /being
(end here?)

Will you discover the truth of this in time?
that you have lived here with eyes sheathed?
that your heart beating in techno-time
has fooled you to feel powerful and immortal?
Fooled you into thinking you were singular,
separate, and independent.

But what will you make of this
when you discover one day
that you have lived here with your eyes closed?
that your heart beating in techno time fooled you
to feel powerful and immortal?
So that you did not hear the warnings when they came?
did not see the rivers disappearing, the coral dying
crops turn into deserts, oceans reclaiming whole towns
A self-deception that brings unfathomable despair
or the songbird there it is now
…forever stilled

October, 2008. Vancouver, BC