Saturday, April 8, 2006

Manhattan Trees

Manhattan Trees on an April evening


All winter long the trees stood stripped and bare,

Like naked dancers frozen in mid-whirls,

With limbs upthrust into the frigid air,

And joints and fingers splayed in balanced twirls.


Or look again, and see inverted lungs,

With trunk as windpipe, branches branching till

They end in tiny twigs, a thousand tongues,

By winter parched, that wait to drink their fill


Of sunshine, and of air, so that the dance

Can once again resume, and lungs respire.

All winter long they’ve waited for the chance

To breathe, and dance again, in full attire,


Their slow, primeval waltz of balanced growth

Toward sun and earth, and the directions four,

While all around the citizens go forth,

In sundry, hurried tasks, from door to door,


Until short lives are spent, and then make room

For others to emerge, and scurry round

Those giant ones who wait and care not whom

They drop their leaves upon, close to the ground.


Now April. Winter’s stark and barren trees

Are slowly putting forth new leaf and bloom.

Upon each branch, each puny twig, one sees

Those tiny little buds appear, that zoom


Forth into newborn leaves, or else explode

Into great clouds of bloom, that grace with light

Dark city streets, in winter-weary mode,

Whose canyon walls ascend to moonlit night.



Arjun (Babui) Janah < >

2006.04.08 Sat.

Brooklyn, New York.


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