POEM: One Tree

In this land of tropical green,
there is one tree timed to north lands.
Its leaves turn red from deepest green,
and fall as if to season’s plans.

They fall not by mere ones or twos,
but in wild, fluttering masses.
Inside, it gives one the bronzy blues
to starkly feel the year’s passage.

To see sunny-side branches nude,
and know the numbered days still left
for ever-redder multitudes
who suffer time’s — and wind’s — great theft.

No land is so foreign to me
that I can’t see home in a tree.

POEM: Gravity’s Conspirator

trunk bent at a right angle
and leaning to the south

yet, that tree shows no struggle

every second — day and night
gravity summons it to the ground

it’s survived more than a few monsoons
puddles and soggy soil
have conspired with gravity
the wind has conspired
climbing animals have conspired
alighting hawks and crows have conspired
the boy who crawled out the horizontal limb and swung conspired

for years they have conspired

but the tree rarely so much as trembles

it’s doomed, but that knowledge holds no sway

and when i sit,
centered to thwart gravity,
i still feel the dogged pull
though its only conspirator is
my mind

POEM: Lonely Oak





I
lonesome oak on a hill



having outlived your peers



your progeny denied the light
by scythe and mower blade alike



II
it’s said you speak by pheromone
but no whiff is caught when alone
your words disperse unsmelt
lost across a manmade veldt



III
if it’s any consolation
you have our unflagging admiration
you’re the model of stately poise
to all the little girls and boys



who swing about your stout limbs