Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trees–Part II–Remembering

Trees – Part II

And those who've lived, like I, who write this verse,
In climes where palm-trees sway and thrash in storms,
Remember, dimly, as the years take tolls,
The varied forms of trees in tropic lands.

Some leaves would brown and fall in seasons dry.
Then rains would come and paint in lushest greens.
Year 'round, the tal and coconut would soar.
And in cyclones, they'd bend and brush the roofs.

And in the fields, where peasants toiled in sun,
The millet, rice and maize would take their turns.
And yellow blooms of mustard, in that sun,
Amidst the greens, would burn like fairy-flames...


I still can see, with remnant inner eye:
The harvest golds that stretched to meet the sky;
Banana trees, whose leaves we ate upon;
And fragrant flesh, exposed, of seeds of palm.

I climb again upon the mango tree,
And scale the guava, in search of fruit,
But am entranced by scents of leaves that still
Appear to linger, after all these years...

How succulent, the jack-fruit, yet how hard
It was to hack, while balanced on its tree.
The heavy, prickly fruit would fall, at last,
To crash upon the mossy ground below.


The custard-apple and the tamarind
I still can taste – and others fading slow –
The berries crunchy, sour and sweet, the sap
Of canes whose fibers tested children's teeth...

How varied are the greens of tropic lands,
How many things we ate that came from plants,
How many spices, with their wondrous scents,
In curries and in moles of the world...

How far I am from what I left behind,
And yet these traces still remain in mind.
And here, I see these living trees and know
That life is one – so distance is no more.

2013 May 18th Sat. & 19th Sun.

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