TREE OF HEAVEN
for Alain De Coussemaeker
I came for comfort to the tree
and she gladly gave it to me.
With tiny hands I touched her skin
and felt the vibrant life within.
Body to body, soul to soul
we hugged and made each other whole.
“Relax,” she said “And take your time.
Standing still is not a crime.
But don’t attempt it on the street –
They’ll trample you under their feet.”
A pigeon looks down from the nest
it’s making, and takes a rest.
I sit at the window now and stare
at those wild arms waving in the air.
Then once again, as darkness falls
I hug my trees beside the walls,
listening to what they have to say
at the end of a busy day.
There is great wisdom in a tree,
everybody must agree.
It answers anything you ask,
it gives you strength for every task.
With all their graceful mystery
trees saw the dawn of history.
Next time you are in doubt or fear,
talk to a tree. It will hear.
You can tell a tree by its fruits
but nobody knows its roots.
Our tree-of-heaven meets the sky.
I watch a flock of seagulls fly
out through its branches to the West
and on to the Islands of the Blessed.
Night falls, and the bare branches whirl
like the limbs of a dancing girl.
I wish I could paint this sight
with the paper on which I write.
Patient and dignified, our tree
gives a lesson in Humility.