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author’s note:

It is apparently more important to nature that one should have consciousness, understanding, than to avoid suffering.
             — C.G. Jung
 

HOW PAIN BECOMES BEAUTIFUL

In the dream
pain became beautiful

as I watched you
embrace the tree—
a lover finding the lover
who knows her need:

the need to heal
and be healed.

A symbiotic relationship
working by osmosis:

as you healed yourself
with the tree’s love
you fed the tree with your love

and so your eyes gleamed
on one of its emerald leaves

but many eyes appeared on the leaves above

next time
I hope to see mine

so I’ve renewed my vow
to open and embrace

despite the slow pain of surrender…
 

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: poetry ebook

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tree sweet embraceable bbbb - April 22, 2016s

author’s note:

In observance of Earth Day, April 22…

…and let us not forget National Arbor Day, April 29.
 

WORLD TREE

I am told
we may not
have enough
resources

and my own experience
seems to give this idea
credence
because
   often, I can’t remove
   the big block
   in my thoughts
   and so often
   I can not find
   enough room
   in my heart
   and too often
   I can’t quite
   locate my feet.

So in search of an answer
I spoke to a tall tree today—
a solid but free, bold sashaying tree
of green-gold candle flames:

I wanted to know how
it rose so strong, so sure
on such sparse water
in bleached rocky soil
amid dismal sunlight.

It replied:
I draw from a primeval lineage.
It replied:
I draw from an eternal sky

so all through the choking dust
of dry Summer
and all through the numbing sleet
of dead Winter
my roots, my trunk maintain
enough vertical spirit
for me to be
what’s required
of a world tree.

Now, having seen
the truth of the tree
I say:

if we’re of the same Earth spirit
yet can’t find enough resources
then we have failed as a species
and will perish or else
revert to a cave life.

But whether we stay or go
the tree will continue to flower.
The tree will not
look back on us in pity
the tree will look forward,
arms open to the next arrival.

The tree is not heartless,
nonetheless…

it won’t exaggerate our importance.
 

© 2016, Michael R. Patton
survival: the book

sweet embraceable tree - December 24, 2015s

author’s note:

Here’s a term I often hear used derisively: tree hugger.

Well, if you’re losing your balance and about to fall off a cliff, I think you might be relieved to find the arms of a tree.

 

SONG FOR THE TREE HUGGERS

The tree tells me:

if suddenly
your love rises so high
that you feel you must
either release the flow
or die

then please encircle me
with your desperate arms
and I will accept your offering—

I will accept your burden
I will accept your suffering:

In breaking yourself open
you will heal.

But maybe you can’t feel
your love—
maybe you hurt so much
you can’t bear to touch
any thing at all—

not even a devoted tree.

If so, I trust
your greater desire
will eventually
push you past your fear
and you’ll straggle here
to embrace me

and in that surrender rediscover
your overwhelming love…

and once done, return
to help others find
their way back
to this tree.

 

© 2015, Michael R. Patton

cartoons of Christmas past

author’s note:

What I remember from biology class…

…was how fragile the human body seemed to me.  If the body is so fragile, we must be quite strong.
 

I SAW YOU AT THE WATERFALL

Those small trees clinging
to the edge
of the waterfall cliff…

remind me of so many strangers
glimpsed on the rain-wet street—

see how the crowns of the trees have bowed

while their roots strain
to hold to brittle rock of little soil
and their limbs tremble
from the roar of water crashing below
—a subway roar.

Like those many people
the trees seem so distant—
covered as they are
in thick mist.

Like those many people
the fragile trees dare me
to be as strong as they are—
to flourish while enduring a life
so constantly precarious…

The trees, the people:
plain in appearance
but beautiful in aspect.
 

© 2014, Michael R. Patton
searching for the new mythology

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